Why Use Tramadol When Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding can be challenging, especially when you’re dealing with pain or discomfort. One option for managing pain is tramadol, a medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. However, many breastfeeding mothers may wonder if it’s safe to take tramadol while nursing their babies. In this article, we’ll explore and let you know about the potential risks and benefits of using tramadol while breastfeeding.
What is Tramadol?
Tramadol is a prescription medication used to treat pain. It works by changing the way your brain and nervous system respond to pain. Tramadol is classified as an opioid, but it has a lower risk of addiction and dependence compared to other opioids. So consulting a medical practitioner is advised before using Tramadol during breastfeeding.
Effects of Tramadol during Breastfeeding
There is limited research on the use of tramadol during breastfeeding. However, tramadol is known to pass into breast milk, and there is a risk that it could cause side effects in nursing infants. Some studies suggest that tramadol can cause drowsiness, lethargy, and difficulty breastfeeding in infants whose mothers are taking the medication.
3 Potential Risks of Tramadol When Breastfeeding?
The use of tramadol while breastfeeding could pose several risks to nursing infants. Some of the potential risks include:
-Sedation and lethargy
Tramadol can cause drowsiness and lethargy in nursing infants, making it difficult for them to breastfeed properly.
In rare cases, tramadol can cause respiratory depression, a condition where a person’s breathing slows down significantly. This can be life-threatening in infants, especially those who are premature or have underlying health conditions.
If a nursing infant is exposed to tramadol for an extended period, it may develop withdrawal symptoms when the medication is discontinued. Symptoms can include irritability, fussiness, and difficulty sleeping.
3 Alternatives to Tramadol When Breastfeeding
If you’re breastfeeding and experiencing pain, there are several alternatives to tramadol that you can discuss with your healthcare provider. Some options include:
Also known as Tylenol, acetaminophen is a pain reliever that is safe to use while breastfeeding.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Medications like ibuprofen and naproxen are effective pain relievers that are also safe to use while breastfeeding.
- Local anesthetics
If you’re experiencing pain in a specific area, your healthcare provider may recommend a local anesthetic like lidocaine.
While tramadol when breastfeeding may be an effective pain reliever, it’s important to consider the potential risks and benefits before using it while breastfeeding. If you’re experiencing pain and are unsure about the safety of tramadol while nursing, speak with your healthcare provider about alternative options at the earliest.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. (2012). The transfer of drugs and therapeutics into human breast milk: an update on selected topics. Pediatrics, 129(3), e827-e841.
- Gharavi, M., & Kheiri, B. (2019). The safety of tramadol during breastfeeding: a systematic review. Journal of Addiction Medicine and Therapeutic Science, 5(1), 10-13.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2021). Tramadol. Retrieved from