Xeljanz and Breastfeeding

Because of the potentially serious side effects associated with Xeljanz (tofacitinib), the manufacturer recommends that women not take this drug while breastfeeding. Although it is unknown if Xeljanz passes through breast milk in humans, it is known to pass through breast milk in rats. If you take this drug while nursing, watch for any side effects in your child.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Xeljanz?

Xeljanz® (tofacitinib) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of certain types of rheumatoid arthritis. It is unknown whether Xeljanz passes through breast milk in humans.

More Information on Xeljanz and Breastfeeding

In animal studies, Xeljanz was shown to pass through the breast milk in rats. However, the drug has not been studied in breastfeeding women, so it is unknown whether it also passes through human breast milk or if it would harm a nursing infant.
The manufacturer recommends Xeljanz not be used in women who are breastfeeding. This drug is associated with potentially serious side effects, including an increased risk for infections, bleeding, and anemia. Because of the lack of information on the use of Xeljanz during breastfeeding, it is possible that a nursing infant could be exposed to the medication, along with the risks associated with it.
If your healthcare provider recommends Xeljanz while you are breastfeeding, make sure to watch for any problems in your child. In particular, you might want to watch for frequent or severe infections, as the drug can reduce the body's ability to fight infections.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should discuss breastfeeding and Xeljanz use with your healthcare provider. 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, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
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