Is Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) compatible with breastfeeding? Do we have alternatives for Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)?

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)

June 10, 2018 (Very Low Risk)

An osmotic laxative which is not absorbed.
Polymers whose molecular weight is between 1,000 and 35,000 daltons. The number added to the term "macrogol" defines its molecular weight, eg: macrogol 3350.

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

Its pharmacokinetic data (zero oral bioavailability and high molecular weight) make transfer to milk in significant quantities unlikely.

Its zero oral bioavailability prevents its transfer to the infant’s plasma via ingested breast milk.

Experts and scientific associations, as well as the manufacturer, consider it compatible with breastfeeding (Gharehbaghi 2016, Müller 2013, AEMPS 2010, Mahadevan 2006).


We do not have alternatives for Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) since it is relatively safe.

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.


  • Carbowax
  • Macrogol
  • Macrogol 3350
  • Macrogol 4000
  • Polyoxyethylene


  • Πολυαιθυλενογλυκόλη (Greek)
  • A06AD15 (ATC Code/s)


  1. Gharehbaghi K, Gharehbaghi DR, Wierrani F, Sliutz G. [Treatment of Chronic Functional Constipation during Pregnancy and Lactation]. Z Geburtshilfe Neonatol. 2016Abstract
  2. Müller-Lissner S. [Pharmacological treatment of constipation]. Internist (Berl). 2013Abstract
  3. Müller-Lissner S. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic considerations for the current chronic constipation treatments. Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2013Abstract
  4. AEMPS. Macrogol. Ficha técnica. 2010 Full text (in our servers)
  5. Mahadevan U, Kane S. American gastroenterological association institute technical review on the use of gastrointestinal medications in pregnancy. Gastroenterology. 2006Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)