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J Pediatr. 2012 Sep;161(3):448-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.03.003. Epub 2012 Apr 14.

Neonatal benzodiazepines exposure during breastfeeding.

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  • 1Schulich School of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.



To assess central nervous system depression and other adverse effects in infants exposed to benzodiazepines through breast milk.


A prospectively recruited, retrospectively assessed cohort study of mothers who contacted the Motherisk program regarding the safety of benzodiazepines and were invited to participate in a follow-up program regarding the effects of these medications on their infants during lactation.


A total of 124 consenting women participated. Adverse outcomes, specifically sedation, was identified in only 1.6% (2 of 124) of infants and was not associated with benzodiazepine dose, number of hours breastfed, or any demographic trait. Mothers reporting adverse outcomes in themselves (26% [32 of 124]) were more likely to be taking concomitantly a greater number of central nervous system depressants.


This study supports the continued recommendation to initiate breastfeeding while taking benzodiazepines postpartum.

Copyright © 2012 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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