Lungs Home > Tobi and Breastfeeding

When given as an injection, the active ingredient in Tobi does pass through breast milk in small amounts. However, because Tobi is inhaled, it is unknown if enough of this medicine would reach the bloodstream to pass through breast milk. The manufacturer of the drug recommends that you either breastfeed or use Tobi, but not do both.


Can Breastfeeding Women Use Tobi?

Tobi® (tobramycin inhalation solution) is a prescription antibiotic used in the treatment of cystic fibrosis. It is not known whether Tobi passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, talk with your healthcare provider before using this medication.

More Information on Tobi and Breastfeeding

Tobi has not been studied in breastfeeding women. Tobramycin, the active ingredient in Tobi, has been shown to pass through breast milk in small amounts when given as an injection.
However, Tobi is not given as an injection; it is inhaled into the lungs with the use of a nebulizer. It is unclear whether enough Tobi would reach the bloodstream after normal use to pass through breast milk.
It should be noted that Tobi is associated with serious side effects, including kidney problems and hearing loss. Until more information is available on Tobi and breastfeeding, the potential that these or other possible side effects could occur in a nursing infant cannot be completely ruled out.
Because of these risks, the manufacturer of Tobi recommends that women either breastfeed or be treated with Tobi, but not do both. However, other resources consider the drug safe for use during breastfeeding.
If your healthcare provider recommends using Tobi while nursing, make sure to watch for any possible Tobi side effects in your infant and report any possible problems to your child's healthcare provider. Some of the possible side effects include:
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Unexplained or excessive crying
  • Problems with hearing
  • Breathing problems, such as coughing or wheezing
  • Oral thrush (a yeast infection in the mouth)
  • Diarrhea
  • Diaper rash
  • Bloody stool
  • Anything else that just doesn't seem right.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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