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Vandazole and Breastfeeding

It is known that the active ingredient in Vandazole (metronidazole vaginal gel) passes through human breast milk. However, no significant problems have been reported in infants whose mothers used this medication. There is some concern that when young children are exposed to this drug, there may be an increased risk for certain types of cancer. Therefore, the manufacturer recommends that women not use Vandazole while breastfeeding.

Can Breastfeeding Women Use Vandazole?

The active ingredient in Vandazole® (metronidazole vaginal gel) passes through breast milk in humans. There is some concern about the carcinogenic (cancer-causing) potential of metronidazole, especially when young children may be exposed. If you are breastfeeding a child or plan to start, you should talk with your healthcare provider before using Vandazole. The manufacturer recommends that women not use this drug while breastfeeding.
The prescribing information for Vandazole recommends that women who are breastfeeding should "pump and dump" for the five days of treatment and for 24 hours after the last dose; however, this is not necessarily practical advice. In order to accomplish such a task, the baby must be willing to take a bottle, and the mother must be willing to formula feed or use a substantial amount of her "freezer stash" of breast milk supply.

More Information on Metronidazole and Breastfeeding

Studies have shown that metronidazole, the active ingredient in Vandazole, passes through breast milk. No significant side effects in infants have been reported due to maternal use of the drug. However, there is a theoretical risk of childhood or even adult cancer due to metronidazole exposure through breast milk. Metronidazole was shown to increase the risk for certain cancers in mice and rats; it is unknown if the same is true for humans.
Keep in mind that the levels found in breast milk after using metronidazole vaginal products such as Vandazole are much lower than would be found after taking metronidazole by mouth or intravenously.
If your healthcare provider recommends using Vandazole while breastfeeding, make sure to watch for any potential problems, especially diarrhea, thrush, or yeast infections, which have been reported in infants exposed to metronidazole through breast milk.

More Headlines in Vandazole and Breastfeeding

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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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