Based on the results of clinical studies, Marinol (dronabinol) should not be used by breastfeeding women. This is especially true for women with AIDS who are taking this drug to treat loss of appetite and associated weight loss. Not only is Marinol passed through breast milk, but so is the virus that causes AIDS.
Is Marinol Safe While Breastfeeding?
Marinol® (dronabinol) is passed through human breast milk. It is usually recommended that the drug not be used in women who are breastfeeding. Thus, if you are breastfeeding a child, talk with your healthcare provider before taking Marinol.
More Information on Breastfeeding and Marinol
According to the manufacturer, Marinol passes through human breast milk and is absorbed by the nursing child. It contains the same active ingredient as marijuana, and studies have found this ingredient in the breast milk of women who smoke marijuana, as well as in their infants. Because of concern about the potential negative effects of Marinol in infants, it is recommended that breastfeeding mothers not use it.
In addition, Marinol is sometimes used for treating loss of appetite due to AIDS. In general (for women in developed countries), it is usually recommended that women with AIDS not breastfeed, since HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) can be passed through breast milk.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider
You should discuss breastfeeding and Marinol with your healthcare provider. 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, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Marinol Capsules [package insert]. High Point, NC: Banner Pharmacaps, Inc.;2008 March.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed June 22, 2010.
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