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Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-.

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Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet].

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Promethazine

Last Revision: October 31, 2018.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

CASRN: 60-87-7

Chemical structure

Drug Levels and Effects

Summary of Use during Lactation

Based on minimal excretion of other phenothiazine derivatives, it appears that occasional short-term use of promethazine for the treatment of nausea and vomiting poses little risk to the breastfed infant. With repeated doses, observe infants for excess sedation. Because promethazine can lower basal prolactin secretion, promethazine might interfere with the establishment of lactation if given during labor, before lactation is well established or with a sympathomimetic such as pseudoephedrine. An antiemetic without potent histamine blocking action is preferred in nursing mothers.

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 was not found as of the revision date.

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Possible Effects on Lactation: Unlike most phenothiazines, promethazine usually causes a reduction in basal prolactin secretion in nonnursing women.[1][2] In one small study, women given promethazine with meperidine and secobarbital during labor, had the time to lactogenesis II prolonged by 14 hours. Women given meperidine or secobarbital without promethazine had lactogenesis II prolonged 7 hours compared to unmedicated women, but the difference was not statistically significant.[3] The effect of postpartum promethazine is not known, but it might interfere with the establishment of lactation if given in the early postpartum period.

Alternate Drugs to Consider

Prochlorperazine

References

1.
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]
2.
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]
3.
Hildebrandt HM. Maternal perception of lactogenesis time: a clinical report. J Hum Lact. 1999;15:317-23. [PubMed: 10776182]

Substance Identification

Substance Name

Promethazine

CAS Registry Number

60-87-7

Drug Class

  • Breast Feeding
  • Antiemetics
  • Phenothiazines

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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