California Woman Claims Meth-Laced Breast Milk Not Cause of Her Baby's Death

Share
Copy

Nationwide, there have been dozens of cases of infant deaths associated with overdoses of cocaine, meth and other illegal substances via breast milk. Adverse effects are also possible in cases where prescribed doses of legal drugs, such as painkillers, are taken by the mother while breastfeeding.

"Some people think that using drugs and nursing won't affect the child, but that's not true at all," said Bruce Goldberger, director of toxicology at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville. "There have been hundreds of studies with pharmaceutical drugs that show that these substances are delivered to the child through breast milk.

"Children are very fragile beings," he added. "It doesn't take very much drug to alter their physiology and have a bad effect."

"Many antidepressants or psychotropic drugs will be distributed to breast milk and expose the nursing infant," said Luann White, director of the Tulane Center for Applied Environmental Health. "An infant is very tiny and cannot metabolize the drug as quickly as an adult, so a lethal dose would be much smaller for the infant than for the mother."

For that reason, mothers should always be careful about taking any drug, whether recreational or prescription, while nursing, toxicologists say.

Nursing mothers, Casavant said, should review all their medicines, even over-the-counter medicines, with their physicians, the child's pediatrician or their pharmacists.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: People stand in prayer after marching about a mile to the police station to protest the shooting of Michael Brown, Aug. 20, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
Charlie Riedel/AP Photo
A-Rod Buys Meryl Streeps LA Home
Zillow | Inset: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
PHOTO:
Paul Hames/California Department of Water Resources via Getty Images|Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
PHOTO: Jars of Nutella are displayed on a shelf at a market, Aug. 18, 2014, in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images