Thursday, October 09, 2008

Use of Codeine Products by Nursing Mothers

From Health Canada:
Health Canada is advising the public, especially nursing mothers, about the very rare but serious health risk to breastfed babies posed by codeine use in mothers. Once ingested, codeine is converted by the body into morphine. Some people convert codeine into morphine more rapidly and completely than others. The babies of nursing mothers who rapidly metabolize codeine may be at increased risk for morphine overdose due to higher-than-expected morphine levels in breast milk.

Codeine is found in prescription and non-prescription products used to relieve pain or to treat coughs. Despite the common use of codeine products to manage postpartum pain, reports of adverse events in infants are rare. However, awareness of this new information is important because in severe cases, infant death can occur.
For Health Professionals
For the Public

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