Ketotifen and Breastfeeding

It is unlikely that significant amounts of ketotifen would pass through breast milk, as the medication is used as an eye drop. However, no studies have been done on breastfeeding and ketotifen, so it's a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about the potential risks before taking this drug. You may be asked to watch for certain side effects in your child.

Is Ketotifen Safe While Breastfeeding?

Ketotifen (Alaway®, Zaditor®, Zyrtec® Eye Drops, Claritin® Eye) is a nonprescription antihistamine eye drop. It is approved for the treatment of itching due to eye allergies. At this time, it is unknown if the medication passes through breast milk in humans. Thus, if you are breastfeeding a child, you should talk with your healthcare provider before taking ketotifen.

Breastfeeding and Ketotifen: What Does the Research Say?

Studies have shown that ketotifen passes through breast milk in rats when given by mouth, not as an eye drop. No studies have been done to see if the medicine passes through breast milk in humans.
It is important to understand that ketotifen is an eye drop, and little of the medication reaches the bloodstream when used appropriately. Based on this information, it is unlikely that a significant amount of the drug would reach the breast milk.
However, the possibility of problems cannot be entirely eliminated, since this medication has never been studied in women who are nursing. If your healthcare provider recommends taking ketotifen while breastfeeding, be sure to watch for any side effects in your child, such as irritability and drowsiness.
You may want to try applying pressure to the inside corner of your eye (over the tear duct) for a minute or so after using the drops. Dab away any excess solution with a tissue. This actually substantially decreases the amount of ketotifen that reaches the bloodstream, which would help limit exposure through breast milk.
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