We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Concerns about Ranitidine and Breastfeeding?

By Jillian O Keeffe
Updated Feb 11, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Ranitidine is a drug that is often recommended for those suffering from stomach problems like heartburn. As of 2011, reported side effects have been rare, but the potential effects on newborn or very young children have not been extensively researched. Ranitidine and breastfeeding mothers may not be a suitable mix, especially as the drug is known to pass into the breast milk. Advice to avoid its use during breastfeeding is not based on concrete evidence of harm to the baby, but rather on the basis that the drug may have effects that have not yet been identified.

Infants are fragile creatures as they are still developing, and are so more vulnerable than other people to the effects of drugs. Medications in pregnancy tend to be closely monitored, and breastfeeding mothers may be discouraged from taking certain drugs. If a baby is breastfeeding, the mother can pass substances to him or her through breast-milk, and potentially put the child at risk. When it comes to ranitidine and breastfeeding, ranitidine has been proven to enter the breast-milk, which is why its use may be risky for the mother and child.

Clinical studies of drugs normally focus on the effects of the medication on adult volunteers. Children, pregnant women, and babies are not typically used for research for ethical reasons. For many medications, therefore, the evidence for safety in pregnancy or during breastfeeding tends to be incomplete. Sometimes extensive information on the possible effects of medicine can be gleaned from individual patients who are taking the drug outside of clinical trials, but this is not the case for investigation into ranitidine and breastfeeding.

Isolated incidences of ranitidine and breastfeeding have been noted in medical literature, and these cases appear to show that ranitidine does not have any adverse effect on the breastfeeding infant. Studies on animals have also not shown that the drug has any adverse effects in fetuses during pregnancy. Some women receive the drug during labor to prevent a condition called Mendelsohn's syndrome, and the drug appears to produce no adverse effect on the baby.

A condition called stress ulcer can develop in some babies, and ranitidine is often used to prevent this from developing. When given to newborn babies, at a level five times higher than that typically found in breast-milk, the drug appears to have no ill effects. As of 2011, a drug called cimetidine, which is similar to ranitidine, is approved by some health authorities for use by breastfeeding women. Despite the availaility of a small amount of information appearing to show that ranitidine is safe for use in this situation, the lack of research means that women have to balance the benefits of the drug against the theoretical possibility of damage to the baby.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.