Arthrotec and Breastfeeding

The manufacturer of Arthrotec (diclofenac/misoprostol) recommends women use this drug with caution while breastfeeding. Both of the medications in it do pass through breast milk, but are not expected to pass through in large enough amounts that would harm a nursing infant. However, before taking Arthrotec while breastfeeding, talk to your healthcare provider about potential risks and side effects to be aware of.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Arthrotec?

Arthrotec® (diclofenac/misoprostol) is a prescription medicine used in the treatment of arthritis. This medication is known to pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, talk to your healthcare provider before taking Arthrotec.

More Information on Arthrotec and Breastfeeding

Arthrotec is a combination prescription medication. It contains diclofenac sodium (Voltaren®, Voltaren®-XR), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and misoprostol (Cytotec®), a prostaglandin. Both components of Arthrotec pass through breast milk.
Misoprostol passes through breast milk in small amounts, and drug levels are highest in breast milk about an hour after a dose is taken. Even at the highest levels, however, the amounts of misoprostol found in breast milk are generally considered too low to be harmful to a nursing child. In addition, naturally occurring prostaglandin is found in breast milk, where it is thought to play a role in protecting the infant's gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Diclofenac is generally considered relatively safe for use during breastfeeding. The medicine is removed from the body quickly and is typically not expected to cause serious problems for a nursing child.
It should be noted, however, that Arthrotec has not been adequately studied in breastfeeding women. Therefore, all potential risks to a nursing infant cannot yet be determined. The manufacturer recommends it be used with caution in women who are breastfeeding.
If your healthcare provider recommends Arthrotec use while breastfeeding, make sure to watch for any potential problems in your child. Talk to your child's healthcare provider if you notice problems such as:
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool
  • Unusual crying or fussiness
  • Problems feeding
  • Vomiting
  • Anything else that "just doesn't seem right."
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Arthrotec Medication Information

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