Is Dicloxacillin Safe During Breastfeeding?

In this article, we will take a close look at Dicloxacillin, a penicillin-class antibiotic used to treat certain types of infections. We will explore its uses, potential side effects, and its impact on breastfeeding. The article also analyzes the interaction of Dicloxacillin with other drugs and its influence on maternal behaviour.
Greta Daniskova

Greta Daniskova

Greta is a BSc Biomedical Science student at the University of Westminster, London.

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What is Dicloxacillin?

Dicloxacillin is an antibiotic drug that belongs to the class of antibiotics called penicillin. It is administered to patients who have symptoms of certain types of infections. Dicloxacillin kills bacteria, this helps us to make the host body free from the infection [1].

Dicloxacillin is particularly active against staphylococcal infections. It induces cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs), which participate in the breakdown of many drugs and other pharmaceutical products in the body [2].

However, medications such as Dicloxacillin do not work against viral infections such as the common cold or the seasonal flu, and taking them when you do not need to can increase the likelihood of contracting an infection later in life for which you can’t use antibiotics [1].

Side effects of Dicloxacillin

Dicloxacillin is a medicine used to treat bacterial infections. Dicloxacillin can cause side effects. These side effects can vary in severity, some are short-lived and have low impact, while others can be dangerous and require immediate medical attention.

Common side effects include diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting; for some, the tongue could become black or coated in hair, and there can be mouth irritation and swollen joints, usually of mild intensity, which should abate. Patients should consult their doctor should the symptoms last, or get worse [1].

Some more serious side effects of dicloxacillin are rash, itching, or hives. If you experience difficulty with swallowing or breathing, wheezing, swelling of the face, throat, tongue, or lips, or swelling of the eyes, contact your doctor immediately. Other more serious side effects may include joint or muscle pain, abdominal pain, unusual bleeding or bruising, and a return of fever, sore throat, chills or other signs of infection. Severe diarrhoea (watery or bloody stool) that may occur with or without fever and stomach cramps may occur even up to 2 months or more after treatment [1].

Dicloxacillin also can have more general interactions: one study found that, during long-term Dicloxacillin treatment, the blood-thinning medication warfarin was less effective clinically, though the reasons for this are largely unknown [2].

Dicloxacillin and Breastfeeding

We may not have enough evidence to give a definitive answer to the question of exactly how Dicloxacillin might affect breastfeeding for women. Whereas literature does not specifically answer the questions about dicloxacillin, it might fill us in on how antibiotics generally affect breastfeeding.

Many antibiotics, including Dicloxacillin, are prescribed to mothers for diseases and conditions. Dicloxacillin, along with other antibiotics, gets into breast milk [3]. How much it gets in depends on the properties of the antibiotic, the composition of the milk, and the infant’s ability to take in, metabolise, and tolerate antibiotics [4].

In most cases, antibiotics can be safely taken while breastfeeding. However, it's important to consider several factors:

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Greta Daniskova

Greta Daniskova

Greta is a 2nd-year student currently pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Westminster in London. Currently, in her second year of undergraduate studies, she exhibits a keen interest in the dynamic field of healthcare. With a focus on understanding the intricacies of human biology and disease mechanisms, Greta is driven by a desire to contribute to advancements in medical research and patient care.