Neonatal benzodiazepines exposure during breastfeeding

Lauren E. Kelly, Shirley Poon, Parvaz Madadi, Gideon Koren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess central nervous system depression and other adverse effects in infants exposed to benzodiazepines through breast milk. Study design: A prospectively recruited, retrospectively assessed cohort study of mothers who contacted the Motherisk program regarding the safety of benzodiazepines and were invited to participate in a follow-up program regarding the effects of these medications on their infants during lactation. Results: A total of 124 consenting women participated. Adverse outcomes, specifically sedation, was identified in only 1.6% (2 of 124) of infants and was not associated with benzodiazepine dose, number of hours breastfed, or any demographic trait. Mothers reporting adverse outcomes in themselves (26% [32 of 124]) were more likely to be taking concomitantly a greater number of central nervous system depressants. Conclusions: This study supports the continued recommendation to initiate breastfeeding while taking benzodiazepines postpartum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-451
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


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