Safety and efficacy of galactogogues: Substances that induce, maintain and increase breast milk production

Antonio Alberto Zuppa, Paola Sindico, Claudia Orchi, Chiara Carducci, Valentina Cardiello, Costantino Romagnoli, Piero Catenazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Poor breast milk production is the most frequent cause of breast-feeding failure. This quite common clinical problem is frequently addressed by physicians by prescribing pharmaceuticals and other products to enhance milk production, namely galactagogues. The use of galactagogues should be restricted to patients with a no treatable cause of reduced breast milk production. One of the most frequent indication for the use of galactagogues is the diminution of milk production in mothers using indirect lactation, particularly in the case of preterm birth. The aim of this review is to analyze and review the literature on the most widely used pharmaceuticals that are used as galactagogues (metoclopramide, domperidone, chlorpromazine, sulpiride, oxytocin, growth hormone, thyrotrophin releasing hormone, medroxyprogesterone). We will also analyze the literature supporting the use of herbs and other products (fenugreek, galega and milk thistle). Each product has been evaluated based on its mechanism of action, transfer properties to maternal milk, effectiveness and potential side effects for mother and infant, suggested doses for galactagogic effect, and recommendations for breastfeeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-174
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Volume13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology

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