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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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Last Revision: October 31, 2018.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

CASRN: 1404-90-6

Chemical structure

Drug Levels and Effects

Summary of Use during Lactation

Limited information indicates that vancomycin produces low levels in milk and because vancomycin is poorly absorbed orally, it is not likely to reach the bloodstream of the infant or cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants. No special precautions are required.

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. A single colostrum level of 12.7 mg/L was found 4 hours after the end of the infusion of vancomycin 1 g intravenously given every 12 hours in one woman. Her peak and trough serum levels were 36.1 and 12.5 mg/L, respectively. The colostrum was obtained after delivery at a gestational age of about 35 to 38 weeks.[1] Assuming level reported is about the average colostral level over the dosing interval, an exclusively breastfed infant would receive 1.9 mg/kg daily by mouth in breastmilk. The amount in mature milk might be lower. This dose is only about 4.8% of the oral vancomycin dose of 40 mg/kg daily used to treat pseudomembranous colitis in infants.

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

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


Reyes MP, Ostrea Jr. EM, Cabinian AE et al. Vancomycin during pregnancy: does it cause hearing loss or nephrotoxicity in the infant? Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1989;161:977-81. [PubMed: 2801848]

Substance Identification

Substance Name


CAS Registry Number


Drug Class

  • Breast Feeding
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antibacterial Agents
  • Glycopeptides

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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