Safety in Lactation: Drugs for rectal and anal disorders

Sarah Fenner, Acting Co-Director, Midlands and East Medicines Advice Service (West Midlands site) & UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory ServicePublished

Additional information relating to breastfeeding

To be used in conjunction with individual drug entries for specific information and guidance.

Rectal glyceryl nitrate and diltiazem (unlicensed) are used to treat anal fissures. Glyceryl trinitrate is compatible with breastfeeding.

Local anaesthetics (cinchocaine, pramocaine, lidocaine) and benzyl benzoate are used locally and rectally to treat haemorrhoids and related conditions, usually in combination products. There is no published evidence on the safe use of these preparations in breastfeeding. However, short-term use of topical/rectal products containing a local anaestheic and corticosteroid is considered to present minimal risk to a breastfed infant.

Mothers should be advised to wash hands immediately after use of topical products to avoid contact of medication with infant.