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Qutenza and Breastfeeding

Animal studies on the active ingredient in Qutenza (capsaicin 8% patch) and breastfeeding have shown that the medication does pass through breast milk in rats. However, no research has been done in humans, so it is not known what risks this may present for a nursing infant. Therefore, the manufacturer of Qutenza recommends that women avoid nursing for 24 hours after application of the patch.

Is Qutenza Safe for Breastfeeding Women?

At this time, it is unknown if Qutenza™ (capsaicin 8% patch) passes through breast milk in humans. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding a child, you should talk with your healthcare provider about using Qutenza. The drug's manufacturer suggests that women avoid breastfeeding for 24 hours after using this medication.
 

What Does the Research Say?

When Qutenza patches were applied to breastfeeding rats, the active ingredient (capsaicin) was found to pass through the breast milk. However, no research has been done to see if capsaicin passes through breast milk in humans.
 
Due to the low overall exposure of the body to capsaicin with Qutenza (as only a small percentage of the medication is absorbed throughout the body) and because the medication is cleared from the body quickly, it is not expected that Qutenza would cause serious problems. As a precaution, the manufacturer of Qutenza recommends that women avoid nursing for 24 hours after application of the patch.
 

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Breastfeeding and Qutenza

You should talk with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding while using Qutenza. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision that is right for you.
 
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