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Revia and Breastfeeding

There have been reports of Revia (naltrexone) passing through the breast milk in women who were nursing. However, there is insufficient information available on the potential risks of taking Revia while breastfeeding. The manufacturer recommends women use the drug with caution while nursing. It may cause side effects, such as vomiting and excessive crying, in a nursing infant.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Revia?

Revia® (naltrexone) is a prescription medication used in the treatment of opioid or alcohol dependence. It is unknown if Revia passes through breast milk in humans.

More Information on Revia and Breastfeeding

Revia has been shown to pass through the breast milk of rats. There are also reports of the drug being passed through the breast milk of humans. However, Revia has not been adequately studied in women who were nursing. Therefore, it is not entirely known how much of the drug would pass through breast milk, how long it remains in breast milk, or whether it would harm a nursing child.
In one reported case, a woman took Revia while lactating. The drug was no longer detectable in her breast milk eight hours after she took her dose. However, Revia is converted in the body to another active drug known as beta-naltrexol. Beta-naltrexol was detectable in the woman's breast milk even 23 hours after taking Revia. 
In another reported case, Revia was not found in the bloodstream of an infant who breastfed 9.5 hours after the mother took this medication. However, this one case is not sufficient information to say for certain that using Revia while breastfeeding will not harm a nursing child.
Revia is an opioid antagonist, which means it blocks opioid receptors. Although it is currently unknown whether the drug would harm a nursing child, animal studies suggest that it could potentially alter opioid receptors in the brain. It may also affect the levels of certain hormones in the body.
While some experts recommend the medication not be used while breastfeeding, others recommend that women should not stop breastfeeding just because they are taking Revia. The manufacturer recommends it be used with caution in women who are nursing. These unclear recommendations are certainly frustrating, and it is best to speak with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding during Revia treatment. His or her recommendations will be based on your unique situation.
If your healthcare provider recommends breastfeeding during Revia treatment, make sure to closely observe your infant for any potential side effects. These may include:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sleeping problems
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive crying
  • Low energy
  • Decreased appetite.
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Revia Drug Information

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