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Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet].

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Azelastine

Last Revision: October 31, 2018.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

CASRN: 58581-89-8

Chemical structure

Drug Levels and Effects

Summary of Use during Lactation

Small occasional doses of azelastine nasal spray would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants. Larger doses or more prolonged use of the nasal spray may cause drowsiness and other effects in the infant or decrease the milk supply, particularly in combination with a sympathomimetic such as pseudoephedrine or before lactation is well established. Infant rejection of the breast might occur because of the bitter taste of the drug. The oral, nonsedating antihistamines are preferred alternatives.

Because absorption from the eye is limited, azelastine would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants. To substantially diminish the amount of drug that reaches the breastmilk after using eye drops, place pressure over the tear duct by the corner of the eye for 1 minute or more, then remove the excess solution with an absorbent tissue.

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants

Relevant published information on azelastine was not found as of the revision date. In one telephone follow-up study, mothers reported irritability and colicky symptoms 10% of infants exposed to various antihistamines and drowsiness was reported in 1.6% of infants. None of the reactions required medical attention.[1]

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Antihistamines in relatively high doses given by injection can decrease basal serum prolactin in nonlactating women and in early postpartum women.[2][3] However, suckling-induced prolactin secretion is not affected by antihistamine pretreatment of postpartum mothers.[2] Whether lower oral doses of antihistamines have the same effect on serum prolactin or whether the effects on prolactin have any consequences on breastfeeding success have not been studied. The prolactin level in a mother with established lactation may not affect her ability to breastfeed.

Alternate Drugs to Consider

Desloratadine, Fexofenadine, Loratadine

References

1.
Ito S, Blajchman A, Stephenson M et al. Prospective follow-up of adverse reactions in breast-fed infants exposed to maternal medication. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1993;168:1393-9. [PubMed: 8498418]
2.
Messinis IE, Souvatzoglou A, Fais N et al. Histamine H1 receptor participation in the control of prolactin secretion in postpartum. J Endocrinol Invest. 1985;8:143-6. [PubMed: 3928731]
3.
Pontiroli AE, De Castro e Silva E, Mazzoleni F et al. The effect of histamine and H1 and H2 receptors on prolactin and luteinizing hormone release in humans: sex differences and the role of stress. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1981;52:924-8. [PubMed: 7228996]

Substance Identification

Substance Name

Azelastine

CAS Registry Number

58581-89-8

Drug Class

Disclaimer: Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.

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