Being mentally healthy is important, especially for mothers of little ones. The first years of an infant’s life will determine so much of their future. If their mothers are mentally unhealthy this might interfere with the development of a secure attachment, which can lead to disastrous results. So the mental health of a mother is definitely necessary. However, some medications that help with mental health challenges are not safe while breastfeeding, so it’s important to be aware of the risks. In this article, I will go over some of the research, possible risks, and recommendations of health care professionals concerning Adderall and breastfeeding.
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Is It Safe?
Is breastfeeding while taking Adderall safe? Let’s see what the research says.
Existing Research on Amphetamine use While Breastfeeding
The research on breastfeeding and amphetamine use is scarce. But one study by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that “dexamphetamine readily transfers into milk.” However, they state that the amount that was found is “generally accepted as being ‘safe’ in the short term.” Similarly, according to LactMed, “when amphetamines are given at clinical doses, there is no evidence that nursing infants have been adversely affected.” So it probably is safe to take Adderall while breastfeeding, but there is still limited research on the topic.
What are the risks of taking Adderall while breastfeeding? Well, it depends.
Drug-Abuse versus Clinical Use
The risks associated with the illegal abuse of amphetamines while breastfeeding are different than the risks associated with taking an acceptable dose. According to the AAP, some results of illegal use of amphetamines while breastfeeding include “infant hypertension, tachycardia and seizures.” Additionally, according to the FDA, “It is possible that large dosages of amphetamine might interfere with milk production, especially in women whose lactation is not well established.” Because of these risks, LactMed discourages breastfeeding in mothers who are abusing amphetamines.
However, other studies have shown that there is no risk when the mother is not abusing the drug. According to Deb Cowley MD of the University of Washington, with clinical doses of amphetamines, there were “no adverse effects reported in babies.”
So basically, abusing amphetamines while breastfeeding can come with some pretty serious risks to your baby, as well as a drop in breast milk production, especially for mothers who are just starting to breastfeed. But with the limited research that we do have, there are no immediate risks to the infant if the mother is taking Adderall in normal doses.
Recommendations from Health-care Professionals
Despite this, the general consensus among healthcare professionals is that breastfeeding mothers should not use amphetamines. According to a report by the FDA, “Amphetamines are excreted in human milk. Mothers taking amphetamines should be advised to refrain from nursing.” Similarly, the AAP put out a statement saying that ” In general, breastfeeding is not recommended when mothers are receiving medication from the following classes of drugs: amphetamines, chemotherapy agents, ergotamines, and statins.” This could be because, according to LactMed, “the effect of amphetamine in milk on the neurological development of the infant has not been well studied.” So basically, there’s no way of knowing the long term effects that this could have on infants’ brain development. Thus, experts recommend not risking it.
How long does Adderall stay in breastmilk?
With this information, you may be wondering, “how long does Adderall stay in breast milk?” Well, according to Health Central, “It is impossible to say exactly how long a medication will stay in your system because everyone metabolizes medication at a different rate. The medication may be out of your system in as little as two days and as long as 10 days.”
Advice from Doctors on Taking Adderall While Breastfeeding
If you do decide to risk it, make sure to check in with your doctor first. Larry Silver, MD also offers some wisdom on the subject, advising, “While breastfeeding, you should use short-acting meds, which peak and leave the system relatively quickly. Thus, you can time your baby’s feeding schedule to nurse just before you take a dose. There is no easy answer. You, your doctors, and your partner must weigh all the information and make the decision you feel best about.”
As a mother, your mental health is very important. Your infant needs you to be your healthiest self for multiple reasons. And, you deserve to be at your healthiest. However, it is wise to be aware of the risks that come along with the medications that treat certain mental health challenges. Be aware that it is not recommended by the AAP or the FDA that breastfeeding mothers take Adderall or other amphetamines. However, you should still consult with your doctor so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.