Breastfeeding & Imuran?

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tooth fairy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 5/10/2009 6:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, everyone!! I know this issue has been discussed before, but I've been hearing a different set of recommendations this year compared to what I was told in 2006. According to a very good friend and pediatrician, she said Imuran was classified as "moderately safe" according to her reference book 'medications and mother's milk.' She said she'd clear me to breast feed my baby in October if she was my doctor. I was told in 2006 to stop nursing my (then) 4-month-old in order to start the imuran in the first place. We did stop nursing, I started the meds, and I have been doing largely well ever since.

I struggled a little with discontinuing nursing with the last baby, but not too terrible--he got close to 4 months of breast milk before we stopped. I would really like to nurse this new munchkin too, if possible. I'll bring it up at my GI checkup in a couple weeks, and discuss it with our pediatrician, but I wanted to hear the thoughts of you imuran-taking moms here on this forum, too.

In slightly unrelated news, I'm now 17 weeks along with this kid and feeling wonderful. My UC hasn't let me feel this good in close to a year--I'm not sure if it's seasonal (I always feel good in spring) or hormonal, but I'm enjoying the "good belly" days! Hooray!
Erica, 32
Pancolitis, diagnosed July 2006, at age 29
(Colonoscopy January 2008 showed active disease just in sigmoid and below!)
Imuran & colazol daily; Rowasa and/or canasa rectal meds as needed for maintenence
Currently pregnant-due October 2009


AMK77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 678
   Posted 5/10/2009 8:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Congrats on your pregnancy! I just had a baby 4 months ago. I was in remission starting around the 15 week mark throughout the rest of the pregnancy. I totally forgot about UC, I wish the same for you! I took antibiotics after my daughters birth and that stirred up my UC (grr!). My GI was pushing the 6mp but I really wanted to nurse my daughter. (She will absolutely not take a bottle at this point). 2 GI's told me that new research says that it is "relatively safe", but I still want to wait. I asked about it on my FaceBook UC group. I had a woman that did BF while on Imuran. Here is what she wrote to me: I just saw your post and wanted to let you know that I take immuran, which is very similar to 6mp and NEVER had to stop nursing my son, who is 16 months now.

Your case may be different, but you can easily check with your local lactation specialists at your hospital, your local le leche leaders, or other doctors/specialists who have the latest info on meds and nursing. Another great resource is Medications and Mothers Milk...authored by Hale (last name).

Many doctors will say to quit nursing simply for liability reasons or because they do not know the literature and data on the subject.

All the best,
Lavinia

Here is the website that my lactation consultant uses. Here is the search for Imuran: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/f?./temp/~9wQWba:1

Best of luck with your decision!
31 yr old female currently breastfeeding (weaning so I can start 6mp)
Mild Pancolitis
I've had UC since 2000 but was in remission for most of those 8 years med free
Cannot tolerate mesalamine - starting 6mp soon


tooth fairy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 5/10/2009 5:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Lavinia!

The Hale text was the reference my pediatrician friend used to make her recommendation. At the moment, I think I'd like to try to nurse and stay on the meds, unless my local doctors are adamantly against the idea. I really feel strongly that breast milk (even if it's imuran-breast milk) still has more going for it than formula does, particularly in the phase before solid foods are introduced.

Thanks for the website, too. And yes, I seem to be in an incredible remission. Dare I say I have even been feeling constipated in the past few days?

My husband and I went into this pregnancy thinking that this baby (our 3rd) would be the caboose--but if I get 9 months of feeling amazing again, maybe I should go for four?! (ha!)

-Erica
Erica, 32
Pancolitis, diagnosed July 2006, at age 29
(Colonoscopy January 2008 showed active disease just in sigmoid and below!)
Imuran & colazol daily; Rowasa and/or canasa rectal meds as needed for maintenence
Currently pregnant-due October 2009

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