Safety in Lactation: Drugs used for allergic conditions

Laura Kearney, Regional Principal Medicines Information Pharmacist, Midlands and East Medicines Advice Service (Midlands site) & UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory ServicePublished Last updated See all updates

Additional information relating to breastfeeding

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


Non-sedating antihistamines (NSA) are preferred over sedating antihistamines unless clinically justified.

Cetirizine or loratadine are the preferred NSAs as there is some limited published evidence available and more clinical experience compared to other NSAs, although no NSA has been reported to cause any problems in breastfed infants.

If use of a sedating antihistamine is required, for example to manage pruritus associated with an allergy, chlorphenamine is preferred due to significant clinical experience, although there is a lack of published evidence of safety. Monitor the infant for drowsiness if a sedating antihistamine is used.

Change history

  1. Removal of 'Drugs for angioedema' section (relevant information incorporated into medicine pages)
  2. Removal of 'Allergen extract' section (relevant information incorporated into medicine pages)
  3. Editorial changes to 'Antihistamine' section
  1. Published