No studies have been done on Alli and breastfeeding, so the hazards, if any, the drug poses to a nursing infant are unclear. While the manufacturer recommends that breastfeeding women avoid Alli, very little is actually absorbed into the body; however, it could cause vitamin deficiencies. If you are taking Alli and breastfeeding is something you are considering, talk to your healthcare provider.
Alli and Breastfeeding: An Overview
It is not known if Alli™ (orlistat) passes through breast milk. The manufacturer of the drug recommends that women who are breastfeeding not take it.
Alli and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?
Alli has not been studied in breastfeeding women; therefore, it is not known if the drug passes through breast milk or if it poses any risk to nursing infants. However, Alli would be unlikely to pass through breast milk, since very little of the drug is actually absorbed into the body (almost all of a dose of Alli stays in the digestive tract). It is important to note that the medication can sometimes cause vitamin deficiencies, which may be especially undesirable in a breastfeeding woman.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Alli and Breastfeeding
You should talk with your healthcare provider about Alli and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision about Alli and breastfeeding that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Alli [package insert]. Moon Township, PA: GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare;2007 February.
Xenical [package insert]. South San Francisco, CA: Genentech USA, Inc.;2013 October.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Alli medical review, part 4 (2/7/2007). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/foi/nda/2007/021887s000_MedR_P4.pdf. Accessed August 22, 2007.
Lexi-Interact [computer program]. Lexi-Comp, Inc.; August 23, 2007.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed August 23, 2007.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
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