NLM Toxicology and Environmental Health InfoThe National Library of Medicine (NLM) Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) contains information on drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. It includes information on the levels of such substances in breast milk and infant blood, and the possible adverse effects in the nursing infant.
LactMed currently contains 1298 records. New records are added monthly.
LactMed is peer reviewed.
LactMed collects evidence from weekly searches of PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and BIOSIS Previews.
LactMed studies are not graded using a formal grading system. The study type is reported and shortcomings are pointed out. The detailed description of the record format covers the principles behind the conclusions about drug levels, effects in breastfed infants, possible effects on lactation, and alternative drugs to consider.
Lactmed medications are not tested for use during breastfeeding. The US FDA does not require this and, for ethical concerns, there are virtually no studies performed on the effects of a drug vs. placebo in nursing infants. Judgments are usually made based upon the amount of drug measured in the breastmilk of mothers and short-term monitoring of side effects in their infants.
LactMed is available online and via apps for Android and Apple OS. LactMed apps are updated approximately twice yearly to match the online version.
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