Safety in Lactation: Drugs for the relief of soft-tissue inflammation and topical pain relief

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

Topical formulations of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) and capsaicin produce low systemic levels in the mother. Although there is no direct evidence, subsequent milk levels are anticipated to be negligible.
Take care to ensure the infant does not come into direct contact with topical products. Application to the breast area of the mother should be avoided, especially with capsaicin. However, if used in this way, ensure removal of residual medicine by thorough cleaning before each feed. Capsaicin may cause a local reaction in the infant if not completely removed.