Leukemia Home > Elitek and Breastfeeding

No research has been done to determine whether Elitek (rasburicase) passes through breast milk in women, or if it would harm a nursing infant. The manufacturer of the drug recommends that women not breastfeed during Elitek treatment. Because this medication is associated with potentially serious side effects, it may put your nursing child at risk for dangerous reactions.

Can Breastfeeding Women Receive Elitek?

Elitek® (rasburicase) is a prescription medication used in children and adults with cancer who may develop high uric acid levels from cancer treatment. At this time, it is unknown if Elitek passes through breast milk. The manufacturer of the medicine recommends that women either breastfeed or receive Elitek treatment, but not do both.  
 

More Information on Elitek and Breastfeeding

Elitek has not been studied in breastfeeding women. Therefore, it is unknown if the drug passes through breast milk, or if it would harm a nursing infant. Although this lack of information is frustrating, it is important to note that medications are rarely studied in breastfeeding women, as doing so could expose an infant, who will not directly benefit from the medication, to possible risks.
 
Many medicines pass through breast milk. Elitek is associated with potentially serious side effects, so until more information is known, the risk for these side effects in a nursing infant cannot yet be ruled out. Until more information becomes available, it is probably safest to avoid breastfeeding during Elitek treatment.
 

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should discuss Elitek 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.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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