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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2003 Dec;74(6):516-24.

Use of nicotine patches in breast-feeding mothers: transfer of nicotine and cotinine into human milk.

Author information

1
Pharmacology Unit, M510, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Crawley 6009, Western Australia, Australia. kilett@receptor.pharm.uwa.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Our objective was to assess the extent of exposure to nicotine and cotinine in breast-fed infants during maternal smoking and later during maternal use of the nicotine transdermal patch to achieve smoking cessation.

METHODS:

Fifteen lactating women (mean age, 32 years; mean weight, 72 kg) who were smokers (mean of 17 cigarettes per day) participated in a trial of the nicotine patch to assist in smoking cessation. Serial milk samples were collected from the women over sequential 24-hour periods when they were smoking and when they were stabilized on the 21-mg/d, 14-mg/d, and 7-mg/d nicotine patches. Nicotine and cotinine in milk were quantified by HPLC, and infant dose was calculated. Plasma concentrations of nicotine in the breast-fed infants were assessed, and the infants were also clinically assessed.

RESULTS:

Nicotine and cotinine concentrations in milk were not significantly different between smoking (mean of 17 cigarettes per day) and the 21-mg/d patch, but concentrations were significantly lower (P <.05) when patients were using the 14-mg/d and 7-mg/d patches than when smoking. There was also a downward trend in absolute infant dose (nicotine equivalents) from smoking or the 21-mg patch through to the 14-mg and 7-mg patches (P <.05 at both 14-mg and 7-mg doses, compared with smoking). Milk intake (shown as median and 25th to 75th percentile) by the breast-fed infants was similar while their mothers were smoking (585 mL/d [507-755 mL/d]) and subsequently when their mothers were using the 21-mg (717 mL/d [504-776 mL/d]), 14-mg (731 mL/d [535-864 mL/d]), and 7-mg (619 mL/d [520-706 mL/d]) patches (chi(2) = 3.19, P =.364).

CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that the absolute infant dose of nicotine and its metabolite cotinine decreases by about 70% from when subjects were smoking or using the 21-mg patch to when they were using the 7-mg patch. In addition, use of the nicotine patch had no significant influence on the milk intake by the breast-fed infant. Undertaking maternal smoking cessation with the nicotine patch is, therefore, a safer option than continued smoking.

PMID:
14663454
DOI:
10.1016/j.clpt.2003.08.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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