Safety in lactation: Laxatives

Laura Kearney, Regional Principal Medicines Information Pharmacist, Midlands and East Medicines Advice Service (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.

  • Bulk-forming laxatives
    Bulk-forming laxatives are not absorbed from the GI tract and are considered compatible with breastfeeding.
  • Osmotic laxatives
    Short-term use of osmotic laxatives is not considered to pose a risk to breastfed infants.
  • Stimulant laxatives
    Senna can cause diarrhoea and abdominal cramps, although this has not been confirmed as an issue in breastfed infants.
    Bisacodyl and sodium picosulphate are not absorbed, and their common active metabolite is undetectable in breast milk.