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17
Jan 2012
Can I take cold remedies while breastfeeding?

Cold remedies often contain decongestants e.g. phenylephrine hydrochloride in Lemsip.Decongestants have been known to reduce breast milk but if you continue to breastfeed your milk supply will return in a few days. Your baby’s immune system is stimulated by breast milk so it is important to carry on with breastfeeding and if you feel you need something you could try a nasal decongestant such as xylometazoline instead. Some cold remedies contain antihistamines and these should be avoided because they can make your baby drowsy. You can safely take paracetamol but avoid aspirin because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome. Soothing cough bottles and lozenges can also be safely taken.

If your baby has a cold and it is affecting feeding then I usually recommend saline nasal drops that can be used before feeds. Steamy rooms also help to unblock noses.

Liquid forms of paracetamol and ibuprofen can be given if your baby has a temperature. Call into the pharmacy for more advice.

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