It is not known if it is safe for breastfeeding women to take high doses of niacin. Breastfeeding women can take small amounts of the vitamin (such as the amount found in prenatal vitamins), but high-dose supplementation has not been studied in this group. Talk to your healthcare provider about niacin and breastfeeding in your particular situation to find out the potential risks.
Is Taking Niacin While Breastfeeding Safe?
Niacin (brand names include Niacor®, Niaspan®, Slo-Niacin®, and several others) is a vitamin that is safe for breastfeeding women when taken in small amounts (such as the amount found in prenatal vitamins). It is not known if higher doses (such as the niacin dosage used to improve cholesterol) are also safe. Therefore, check with your healthcare provider before taking high-dose niacin while breastfeeding.
What Does the Research Say?
Niacin (at high doses) has not been studied in breastfeeding women. Therefore, it is unknown if it could cause problems in the breastfed infant. A lower niacin dose, such as 35 mg a day, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for lactating adults, is considered safe.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Niacin and Breastfeeding
You should talk with your healthcare provider about niacin and breastfeeding. 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 about niacin and breastfeeding 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):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed August 31, 2008.
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