Pain management is easier these days with the availability of prescription drugs like Tramadol in the market. The narcotic-like nature of the drug, which is a synthetic opioid, is ideal for many users as the drug is well-tolerated and has a lower risk of abuse. The pain medication is especially suited for long term management of pain conditions and also when recovering from injuries.
One such health condition that Tramadol aids in alleviating pain is when recovering from childbirth. Whether the delivery is natural or done with a C-section, it helps many women to recover from this condition by helping them get past the feelings of pain. The potent analgesic effects of the drug are why it is preferred over other prescription pain medications.
The catch though is that the drug can pass through breast milk and lactating mothers run the risk administering low doses of Tramadol to the newborn. The quantity of Tramadol being passed on to the newborn can increase if the drug is taken long-term by the lactating mother.
What happens if Tramadol is used while breastfeeding?
Tramadol is currently placed under category C for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. What this means is that the drug had shown significant risk to the fetus in animal studies. The data is currently insufficient regarding the use of this drug in these human groups. Hence, the use of Tramadol in pregnant and lactating women should be done only if the benefit is greater than the risk.
Tramadol is not prescribed to pediatric children and those below the age of eighteen due to its potent effects. Research indicates that about 0.12% of the medication can be excreted in breast milk for up to sixteen hours after taking the pill. This may seem like trace amounts but consider that a newborn generally takes multiple feeds in a day. There are significant side effects if it is taken in low doses and infrequently. It is recommended to discontinue taking the medication if the dosage and frequency are both high.
Growing children can develop a range of health problems and undesirable side effects if administered with tramadol. There are can even be growth restrictions and skeletal abnormalities. Tramadol and similar narcotics are best avoided while breastfeeding as the baby tends to develop drug dependence and even withdrawal symptoms if the medication is discontinued abruptly by the mother. This can happen much faster than the time it normally takes for adults to experience these problems.
What is the best way to use Tramadol while lactating?
Although there are documented negative effects of breastfeeding while taking Tramadol, the use of the drug may be warranted in cases where no other pain medications are suitable. Healthcare providers should avoid prescribing Tramadol to the lactating mother unless in instances where it is unavoidable. In such cases, it is safer to temporarily stop breastfeeding while taking Tramadol.
The properties of Tramadol tend to last in the body for at least a week. Hence, it is better to resume breastfeeding once a week passes after discontinuing the use of the drug. if you are a lactating mother, consult with the doctor for safer methods of pain relief alternatives and also for what you can do to eliminate the properties of the drug from your system faster. Tramadol and breastfeeding are not recommended except in certain cases, and suitable safety measures should be undertaken.