Combivent and Breastfeeding
No research has been conducted on Combivent and breastfeeding, so it is unknown if the medication passes through breast milk. Therefore, you should talk with your healthcare provider about the possible risks of breastfeeding while taking the drug. In addition, women who decide to breastfeed while on Combivent should watch for any side effects in their nursing baby.
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At this time, it is not known if Combivent® (ipratropium and albuterol inhaler) is passed through breast milk. Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you are breastfeeding or thinking of breastfeeding before taking the drug.
In order to comply with the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, Combivent inhalers (in their original form) will not be available after July 2013 because they contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), chemicals that deplete the ozone layer. A new formulation, Combivent Respimat, became available starting in October 2012. People using the old Combivent inhaler will need to get a new prescription in order to switch to the new Combivent Respimat inhaler.
No studies have been done to see if ipratropium or albuterol (the active ingredients of Combivent) pass through breast milk. It is also not known if Combivent would cause any problems in breastfed infants if it does pass through breast milk. If your healthcare provider recommends taking Combivent while breastfeeding, be sure to watch for any side effects in your child.
You may be wondering why no studies have been done on Combivent and breastfeeding. In most cases, it is considered unethical to study medications in women who are breastfeeding. Not only are the infants too young to consent to any study, but the infants also stand to obtain little or no benefit from the medication taken by the mother.
Every once in a while, some information can be gathered from women who took a medication just before or after delivery and who chose not to breastfeed. The milk can be collected from these women and analyzed, without presenting any risk to the infants. In other cases, women who are breastfeeding choose to take medications even though the risks are not known. These women and their infants can be studied. However, none of these situations have been reported with Combivent, so very little is known about the effects of taking this medication while breastfeeding.