Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Mary | 2013-01-14


Tegretol and breastfeeding

Good day doc,
I am currently 25 weeks pregnant. I am using Tegretol for epilepsy 400mg a day. My neurologist put my on Tegretol becasue according to them, this is the safest drug during pregnancy.

I asked him whether I will be able to breastfeed and he basically said that the decision is up to me. He said if I am comfortable with it, it is ok but that it does pass through breastmilk. I am now so confused as whether I can breastfeed or not. I would so like to breastfeed but I dont want to put my baby at any risk.

Could you please please give me some advice.

Expert's Reply



The manufacturers of Tegretol recommend that breastfeeding mothers do not take this medicine because it passes into the breast milk. Having said this most experts who treat epilepsy are not against mothers taking Tegretol, but advise that one look out for drowsiness in your baby or poor feeding. Stop taking Tegretol if this happens.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: Purple | 2013-01-14

Many mediciations are fine to use while breastfeeding.

Your best bet is to speak to an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who can look it up in Hales Medications and Mothers Milk for you. This is the only reference book that has researched information on drugs in breastmilk, it gives medicines a rating of L1, L2, L3, L4 according to how safe its considered in terms of how much passes into the milk, how long the medicine remains int he milk (half life), the side effects on baby etc. This differs from the Phsycians desk reference which most pharmacists and doctors use which has the drug company informaiton - which for the most part says that the medicine hasn''t been tested and is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers. Some pharmacists have copies of Hales - but not all.

You can ask for a copy of the information from the book to share with your doctor and discuss it and any particular concerns you have about what it says and then make your decision from there.

Some La Leche League Leaders also have copioes of this book and could share what it says as well.

Reply to Purple

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