Is Phenylephrine compatible with breastfeeding? Do we have alternatives for Phenylephrine?


February 20, 2018 (Low Risk)

A sympathomimetic with alpha-adrenergic action. It produces peripheral vasoconstriction and increased blood pressure without stimulating effects on the central nervous system.

Used as decongestant in topical nasal preparations at low concentration, in association with other drugs, in oral preparations to treat respiratory catarrh (Nice 2000, Kanfer 1993) and in eye drops at concentrations of up to 10% as a mydriatic. It is also used subcutaneously or intramuscularly in severe hypotensive states and in association with topical anesthetics.

Since the last update, we have not found published data on its excretion in breast milk.

The low dose of phenylephrine in nasal, ophthalmic and topical preparations makes its unlikely that it will transfer into breastmilk in significant amounts. It is prudent to press on the tear glands after adminitering eye drops in order to reduce absorption.

Its low oral bioavailability complicates its transfer to the infant’s plasma from ingested breastmilk, except in premature babies and the immediate neonatal period in which there may be increased intestinal permeability.

Nasal and ophthalmic use is authorized in children under one year of age.

Avoid excessive or prolonged oral use and use the minimum sufficient dose.

A similar molecule, pseudoephedrine, can cause a decrease in milk production (Aljazaf 2003).

See below the information of this related product:


Very Low Risk

Compatible. Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.

Low Risk

Moderately safe. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

High Risk

Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully. Use a safer alternative. Read the Comment.

Very High Risk

Not recommended. Cessation of breastfeeding or alternative.


  • Phenylephrine Acid Tartrate
  • Phenylephrine Hydrochloride


  • φαινυλεφρίνη (Greek)
  • فينيلئيفرين (Arabic)
  • Фенилэфрин (Cyrillic)
  • 去氧肾上腺素 (Chinese)
  • フェニレフリン (Japanese)
  • Phényléphrine (French)
  • C9H13NO2 (Molecular formula)
  • (1R)-1-(3-Hydroxyphenyl)-2-methylaminoethanol (Chemical name)
  • C01CA06 (ATC Code/s)
  • R01AA04 y R01AB01 (ATC Code/s)
  • S01FB01 y S01GA05 (ATC Code/s)


  1. Aljazaf K, Hale TW, Ilett KF, Hartmann PE, Mitoulas LR, Kristensen JH, Hackett LP. Pseudoephedrine: effects on milk production in women and estimation of infant exposure via breastmilk. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2003Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Nice FJ, Snyder JL, Kotansky BC. Breastfeeding and over-the-counter medications. J Hum Lact. 2000Abstract
  3. Kanfer I, Dowse R, Vuma V. Pharmacokinetics of oral decongestants. Pharmacotherapy. 1993Abstract