Antihistamine use during breastfeeding with focus on breast milk transfer and safety in humans - a systematic literature review.

Ngo, Elin; Spigset, Olav; Lupattelli, Angela; Panchaud, Alice; Annaert, Pieter; Allegaert, Karel; Nordeng, Hedvig (2022). Antihistamine use during breastfeeding with focus on breast milk transfer and safety in humans - a systematic literature review. Basic & clinical pharmacology & toxicology, 130(1), pp. 171-181. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/bcpt.13663

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Current data on use of antihistamines during breastfeeding and risks to the breastfed infant are insufficient. The aim of this systematic review was to provide an overview of studies measuring the levels of antihistamines in human breast milk, estimating the exposure for breastfed infants, and/or reporting possible adverse effects on the breastfed infant. An additional aim was to review the antihistamine product labels available in EU and the US. We searched seven online databases and identified seven human lactation studies that included 25 mother-infant pairs covering cetirizine, clemastine, ebastine, epinastine, loratadine, terfenadine and triprolidine. In addition, one study investigated the impact of chlorpheniramine or promethazine on prolactin levels among 17 women, and one study investigated possible adverse drug reactions in 85 breastfed infants exposed to various antihistamines. The relative infant dose was below 5% for all antihistamines, ranging from 0.3% for terfenadine to 4.5% for clemastine. Most product labels of the ten antihistamines with available information in both EU and the US, reported lack of evidence and recommended to avoid use during breastfeeding. The knowledge gap on antihistamines and lactation is extensive, and further human studies are warranted to ensure optimal treatment of breastfeeding women with allergy.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of General Practice and Primary Care (BIHAM)

UniBE Contributor:

Panchaud Monnat, Alice Elke Martine


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services








Andrea Flükiger-Flückiger

Date Deposited:

08 Oct 2021 19:11

Last Modified:

16 Mar 2023 11:59

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

antihistamine breast milk breastfed breastfeeding lactation




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