The most common medications dispensed to lactating persons: an electronic health record-based approach Journal Article uri icon
  • PURPOSE: Using a novel, electronic health record (EHR)-based approach, to estimate the prevalence of prescription medication use at 2, 4, and 6 months postpartum among lactating individuals. METHODS: We utilized automated EHR data from a US health system that records infant feeding information at well-child visits. We linked mothers who received prenatal care to their infants born May 2018-June 2019, and we required infants to have ≥ 1 well-child visit between 31 and 90 days of life (i.e., 2-month well-child visit with a ±1 month window). Mothers were classified as lactating at the 2-month well-child visit if their infant received breast milk at the 2-month well-child visit. For subsequent well-child visits at 4 and 6 months, mothers were considered lactating if their infant was still receiving breast milk. RESULTS: We identified 6013 mothers meeting inclusion criteria, and 4158 (69.2%) were classified as lactating at the 2-month well-child visit. Among those classified as lactating, the most common medication classes dispensed around the 2-month well-child visit were oral progestin contraceptives (19.1%), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (8.8%), first generation cephalosporins (4.3%), thyroid hormones (3.5%), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (3.4%), penicillinase-resistant penicillins (3.1%), topical corticosteroids (2.9%), and oral imidazole-related antifungals (2.0%). The most common medication classes were similar around the 4 and 6-month well-child visits although prevalence estimates were often lower. CONCLUSIONS: Progestin-only contraceptives, antidepressants, and antibiotics were the most dispensed medications among lactating mothers. With routine collection of breastfeeding information, mother-infant linked EHR data may overcome limitations in previous studies of medication utilization during lactation. These data should be considered for studies of medication safety during lactation given the need for human safety data.

  • Link to Article
    publication date
  • 2023
  • published in
  • Breastfeeding
  • Drugs and Drug Therapy
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Additional Document Info
  • 32
  • issue
  • 10