Research Article

Drugs taken by mothers in the puerperium: inpatient survey in Northern Ireland.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 08 December 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:1593
  1. C M Passmore,
  2. J C McElnay,
  3. P F D'Arcy


    In an inpatient survey the medication records of 2004 mothers both breast and bottle feeding were examined and the drugs taken in the early postnatal period recorded. No notable differences existed between the types of drugs prescribed for breast feeding and bottle feeding mothers. Iron, vitamins, and mild analgesics were taken routinely by the population, and antibiotics, laxatives, and hypnotics were frequently prescribed. A wide range of other drugs and preparations were taken or used. Although data were available for some of the drugs, there were many whose concentrations in breast milk and potential risk to the suckling infant were unknown. Data are urgently required on hypnotics, narcotic analgesics, antiemetics, antihistaminics, and some antimicrobial agents with respect to their concentrations in breast milk and their safety for the suckling infant.