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

Cover of Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed)

Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet].

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Last Revision: October 31, 2018.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

CASRN: 50-55-5

Chemical structure

Drug Levels and Effects

Summary of Use during Lactation

Because no information is available on the use of reserpine during breastfeeding and it might adversely affect the breastfed infant, an alternate drug may be preferred, especially while nursing a newborn or preterm infant.

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

Although not well documented, reserpine is said to cause nasal stuffiness and increased tracheobronchial secretions in breastfed infants.[1]

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Reserpine has reportedly caused galactorrhea and has been used to increase breastmilk production, although it is obsolete for this use.[2][3][4]

Alternate Drugs to Consider

Enalapril, Methyldopa, Nifedipine, Propranolol


Knowles JA. Drugs in milk. Pediatr Currents. Ross Laboratories. 1972;21:28-32.
Vaidya RA, Vaidya AB, Van Woert MH et al. Galactorrhea and Parkinson-like syndrome: an adverse effect of alpha-methyldopa. Metabolism. 1970;19(12):1068-70. [PubMed: 4923681]
Mazhbits IA. [Use of reserpine as a lactogenic substance]. Akush Ginekol (Mosk). 1970;46(1):70-2. [PubMed: 5433043]
Somlyo AP, Wayde JD. Abnormal lactation. Report of a case induced by reserpine and a brief review of the subject. J Mt Sinai Hosp N Y. 1960;27(Jan-Feb):5-9. [PubMed: 13832752]

Substance Identification

Substance Name


CAS Registry Number


Drug Class

  • Breast Feeding
  • Antihypertensive Agents

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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