Safety in Lactation: Non-beta lactam antibiotics and antibacterials

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

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


Only small or negligible amounts of aminoglycosides are found in breast milk. There is also minimal absorption from the infant’s GI tract, although this may increase in premature infants and neonates.

Most published information, although limited, is regarding gentamicin and streptomycin. There is no published information regarding once daily dosing of aminoglycosides, although this is not thought to pose an increased risk.

Monitor infant for gastrointestinal disturbances and oral candida infection, especially if used for prolonged periods or in high doses, although these effects are unlikely to occur. There is also a theoretical risk of blood in the stools (indicating antibiotic associated colitis), and hypersensitivity.

Choice of drug and alternatives may be directed by local antimicrobial policy and indication.