Nipent and Breastfeeding

The manufacturer of Nipent (pentostatin) recommends that women who are breastfeeding should either stop nursing or stop treatment with this chemotherapy drug. Although it is unknown if this medicine passes through breast milk, it could cause dangerous bleeding, infections, or other problems in an infant whose mother is receiving Nipent while breastfeeding.


Can Breastfeeding Women Receive Nipent?

Nipent® (pentostatin) is a prescription anticancer medication given as an injection into a vein (an intravenous, or IV, injection). At this time, it is unknown whether this drug passes through breast milk. The manufacturer recommends that women who are nursing should either stop breastfeeding or stop treatment with Nipent.

More Information About Nipent and Breastfeeding

Nipent has not been studied in breastfeeding women. Therefore, it is unknown whether the medication passes through breast milk or if it would harm a nursing child. Although this lack of information is certainly frustrating, it is important to note that studies of medicines are rarely done in breastfeeding women, as this would expose an infant, who would otherwise not likely benefit from the medication, to potential problems.
Nipent is associated with potentially serious side effects, including the risk for infections, anemia, and bleeding problems. Because so little is known about Nipent and breastfeeding, it is possible that a nursing child could be at risk for side effects. Until more information is known, it is probably safest to avoid breastfeeding during treatment.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should discuss breastfeeding and Nipent 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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