Nicoderm CQ and Breastfeeding

Research involving Nicoderm CQ (nicotine patch) and breastfeeding has shown that nicotine does pass through human breast milk. Some experts believe that any nicotine exposure in an infant may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), interfere with lung development, and increase an infant's heart rate. If you are nursing, discuss your options on how to quit smoking with your healthcare provider.

Can Breastfeeding Women Use Nicoderm CQ?

Nicoderm® CQ® (nicotine patch) passes through breast milk in humans, and may be harmful to a child. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding, talk with your healthcare provider before using Nicoderm CQ.

What Does the Research Say?

Nicotine, the active ingredient in Nicoderm CQ, is known to pass through breast milk in humans. Studies have shown that the levels of nicotine in breast milk from a Nicoderm CQ 21-mg patch are roughly the same as those expected from smoking 17 cigarettes a day. Lower Nicoderm CQ doses would result in lower, but still measurable, levels.
Maternal cigarette smoking is unhealthy for any infant who will likely be exposed to secondhand smoke. In general, nicotine replacement products, such as Nicoderm CQ, are considered safer than cigarette smoking. However, some experts believe that, based on animal studies, any nicotine exposure carries the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and may interfere with lung development. In addition, nicotine can increase an infant's heart rate.
The manufacturer of Nicoderm CQ recommends that women first try to stop smoking without using nicotine replacement therapy, such as Nicoderm CQ. Many women may find this difficult to do because of the addictive nature of smoking. Keep in mind, however, that there are alternatives to nicotine replacement products to help you stop smoking. Talk to your healthcare provider about all of your available options.
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