Cancer Home > Zolinza and Breastfeeding

Because of the unknown risks, the company that makes Zolinza (vorinostat) recommends that women not breastfeed while using this drug. Although no research has been done on women using Zolinza while breastfeeding, it is thought that some of the drug would pass through breast milk. Some of the problems this might cause in a nursing infant include vomiting, decreased feeding, and diarrhea.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Zolinza?

Zolinza® (vorinostat) is a prescription medication used in people with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma who have not adequately responded to at least two other medicines.
It is unknown if Zolinza passes through breast milk. The manufacturer recommends women not breastfeed during treatment.

More Information About Zolinza and Breastfeeding

There is very little information available about Zolinza and breastfeeding, as the medication has not been studied in women who are nursing. Therefore, it is unknown if the medicine passes through breast milk or would harm a nursing child. Based on the properties of the drug, it can be expected to pass through breast milk to some extent.
Although this lack of information is certainly frustrating, it is important to understand that studies of medications are rarely done in breastfeeding women. This is because such studies would usually expose an infant, who will not directly benefit from the medication, to possible risks associated with the drug.
Until more information is known about using Zolinza while breastfeeding, it may be safest to not breastfeed during treatment. However, if your healthcare provider recommends nursing while taking this medicine, make sure to watch for any potential side effects in your child. Zolinza side effects may include but are not limited to:
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased feeding
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding
  • Abnormally pale skin.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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