Iclusig and Breastfeeding

Although Iclusig (ponatinib) does pass through breast milk in rats, it is unknown whether it would pass through breast milk in women or if it would harm a nursing infant. Because this chemotherapy medication is linked to potentially dangerous side effects, the manufacturer recommends that women not breastfeed during Iclusig treatment.


Can Breastfeeding Women Take Iclusig?

Iclusig® (ponatinib) is a prescription medication approved to treat adults with leukemia. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells.
It is unknown whether Iclusig passes through breast milk in humans. The manufacturer of the medication recommends that women not breastfeed or provide breast milk to an infant during treatment.

More Information on Iclusig and Breastfeeding

In animal studies, Iclusig was shown to pass through the breast milk of rats. It has not been studied in breastfeeding women. Therefore, it is not entirely known if the drug passes through human breast milk, or if it would harm a nursing child.
Although this lack of information is certainly frustrating, it is important to understand that studies of medicines are rarely done in breastfeeding women. This is because such studies could expose an infant, who would otherwise usually not benefit from the medication, to potential problems.
Iclusig is associated with potentially serious side effects, including high blood pressure and the risk for blood clots and strokes. Because there is a possibility that Iclusig side effects could occur in a nursing child, it is generally recommended that women receiving the drug not breastfeed.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should discuss Iclusig and breastfeeding 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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