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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: September 20, 2021.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

CASRN: 113-15-5

image 134973867 in the ncbi pubchem database

Drug Levels and Effects

Summary of Use during Lactation

There is limited published experience with ergotamine during breastfeeding and it might cause adverse effects in the infant and decrease milk supply. Most authorities consider ergotamine to be contraindicated during nursing.[1-5]

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

A study in which ergotamine was administered to mothers of newborns immediately postpartum in a dose of 1 mg 3 times daily for 6 days found no effect on weight gain in the breastfed infants.[6] Milk intake, and therefore infant dosage, might have been minimal during the first few days before the mothers' milk came in fully.

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Thirty women who delivered fullterm infants received a single intramuscular dose of methylergonovine 0.2 mg after delivery, followed by oral ergotamine 1 mg 3 times daily for 6 days. Compared to 28 women who delivered fullterm infants and received no ergot derivatives, there was no difference in the milk production, as measured by weight differences before and after nursing, between the 2 groups during the first 6 days postpartum.[6]

Alternate Drugs to Consider

Eletriptan, Rizatriptan, Sumatriptan, Zolmitriptan


Moretti ME, Lee A, Ito S. Which drugs are contraindicated during breastfeeding? Can Fam Physician. 2000;46:1753–7. [PMC free article: PMC2145042] [PubMed: 11013791]
WHO Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development. Breastfeeding and maternal medication. Recommendations for drugs in the eleventh WHO model list of essential drugs. 2002. http://www​.who.int/child​_adolescent_health​/documents/55732/en/
Davanzo R, Bua J, Paloni G, et al. Breastfeeding and migraine drugs. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2014;70:1313–24. [PubMed: 25217187]
MacGregor EA. Migraine in pregnancy and lactation. Neurol Sci. 2014;35 Suppl 1:61–4. [PubMed: 24867839]
Anderson PO. Migraine drug therapy during breastfeeding. Breastfeed Med. 2019;14:445–7. [PubMed: 31347910]
Jolivet A, Robyn C, Huraux-Rendu C, et al. J Gynecol Obstet Biol Reprod (Paris). 1978;7:129–34. [Effect of ergot alkaloid derivatives on milk secretion in the immediate postpartum period] [PubMed: 641312]

Substance Identification

Substance Name


CAS Registry Number


Drug Class

Breast Feeding


Adrenergic Alpha-Agonists

Analgesics, Non-Narcotic

Ergot Alkaloids

Vasoconstrictor 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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