Optivar and Breastfeeding

Because no studies have been conducted on breastfeeding and Optivar (azelastine ophthalmic solution), it is not known whether the drug passes through breast milk. Although Optivar is an eye drop, it does reach the bloodstream and could potentially pass through breast milk. Before using this medication, breastfeeding women should talk to their healthcare providers about the potential risks.

Is Optivar Safe While Breastfeeding?

At this time, it is unknown if Optivar® (azelastine ophthalmic solution) is safe for use while breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding a child, you should talk with your healthcare provider before taking Optivar. The manufacturer of Optivar recommends that this medication be used cautiously in women who are breastfeeding.

What Does the Research Say?

No studies have been done to see if Optivar passes through breast milk in humans. However, based on its chemical structure, it is likely that Optivar passes through breast milk. Optivar is an eye drop, and very little of the medication reaches the bloodstream. 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, as this medication has never been studied in breastfeeding women. If your healthcare provider recommends taking this drug while breastfeeding, make sure to watch for any side effects (such as drowsiness or irritability) in your child.
Optivar is an antihistamine, and antihistamines can decrease levels of prolactin (a hormone important for breastfeeding). This could potentially decrease the milk supply. However, this is not expected to be a problem with Optivar, as little of the drug actually reaches the bloodstream.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should talk with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding and Optivar. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision that is right for you.
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