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Can You Take Mucinex While Breastfeeding Safe? Expert Guidelines

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Can You Take Mucinex While pregnant or Breastfeeding

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Irrespective of whether you are pregnant or have started breastfeeding, the last thing a mother would want to go down with is a cold or flu as most think it could affect your milk supply. So, what does a mother do if she does fall sick? What cough medicine or cough syrup can you take during breastfeeding? Let’s find that out in the article that follows.

One such common over-the-counter (OTC) medication for colds is Mucinex. Its main forms include Mucinex, Mucinex DM, Mucinex D, and other extra-strength versions of each that can be used to treat symptoms of flu and colds including congestion in the chest and nasal passages and cough.

Can you take mucinex while breastfeeding? Is it safe? Read through the article that follows:

Can you take Mucinex while breastfeeding? Is it safe?

Listed below are the three active ingredients that are found in Mucinex, Mucinex DM, and Mucinex D. Looking at the ingredients individually, will help us understand if the cough medicine and/or cough syrup is safe to use while breastfeeding:

1) Ingredient 1 - Guaifenesin

Although there are no such reliable studies done to confirm the safety of guaifenesin, there are a few sources that claim you can take Mucinex while breastfeeding as this ingredient is completely safe, while on the other hand, the other sources differ to agree with the source and suggest avoiding the drug to prevent any unforeseen dangerous until there is any trustworthy health information made studies proving its safety.

2) Ingredient 2 - Dextromethorphan

As this ingredient is considered, there still hasn’t been a strong opinion or study made on it either. Nevertheless, there are thoughts that only just a minimum amount of the ingredients will appear in the breast milk if breastfeeding moms consider taking dextromethorphan. This means, as compared to the others, it is rather safe to use the ingredients during breastfeeding, especially if your baby is older than two months of age.

3) Ingredient 3 - Pseudoephedrine

As per the healthcare provider, Pseudoephedrine is the safest ingredient to consume while breastfeeding. Nonetheless, as per a few small studies, Pseudoephedrine could reduce the amount of milk that the body produces and could, in a few instances, cause more irritation to breastfed infants than normal.

Alternatively, Can You Take Mucinex While Pregnant?

As we studied the cough medicine ingredients in the section above, we will continue to understand the drug through its ingredients – guaifenesin, dextromethorphan, and pseudoephedrine to know if it’s safe to use the Mucinex during pregnancy

1) Ingredient 1 - Guaifenesin

Mucinex is safe for breastfeeding mothers as it contains an expectorant that helps relieve the symptoms of chest congestion by thinning and loosening the mucus present in the lungs. Further, this thin mucus is coughed out and helps clear the airways, making breathing much easier.However, you should always consult your healthcare provider before ingesting Mucinex. 

As per the American Academy of Family Physicians, it’s still undiscovered if the ingredient is safe for pregnant women. This is why most doctors recommend not taking the medication during the first trimester of pregnancy.

2) Ingredient 2 - Dextromethorphan

A cough medicine suppressant, Dextromethorphan works by affecting the signals in the brain, triggering the cough reflex. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the ingredient seems to be safe to use during pregnancy, nevertheless, the medication should only be used if it’s needed.

3) Ingredient 3 - Pseudoephedrine

It is a decongestant that shrinks the blood vessels present in the nasal passages and helps with reducing the stuffiness in the nose. Nevertheless, the American Academy of Family Physicians, states that pseudoephedrine causes certain birth defects in the initial postpartum period, this is why it must be avoided during that time.

After answering the question can you take Mucinex while pregnant, let’s look at the strength of its ingredients. 

What Are The Strengths Of The Ingredients In The Different Mucinex Products?

To help you understand the ingredients better, here is a table that includes them across different Mucinex products, including information about Mucinex breastfeeding.

Mucinex600 mg
Max Strength Of Mucinex1200 mg
Mucinex DM600 mg30 mg
Max Strength Of Mucinex DM1200 mg60 mg
Mucinex D600 mg60 mg
Max Strength Of Mucinex D1200 mg120 mg

Does Mucinex reduce Milk supply?

According to certain studies, pseudoephedrine, which is present in Mucinex D, can reduce milk supply. Certain over-the-counter cough drugs should be avoided since they can reduce breast milk supply. They can also dry out your breast milk, just like they can dry up your nasal congestion. Antihistamines and nasal decongestants are commonly found in breastmilk and have this effect.

Natural Alternatives To Mucinex

Even though you can take Mucinex while breastfeeding, it’s always better to consider natural alternatives. Since using Mucinex is a little dicey, there are a few natural ingredients that can help you get rid of the irritant cold, all side-effect-free. Nonetheless, make sure you contact your OB-GYN for a thumbs-up before opting for either.

Here’s an explanation of how you can steer clear of cough medicine or cough syrup while pregnant or breastfeeding and opt for drug-free alternatives that provide immediate, healthy, and natural relief for your symptoms.

When you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s important to avoid certain medications, like cold medications, to safeguard your health and that of your baby. However, there are safe and effective alternatives that don’t involve any drugs. These options can quickly alleviate your cold symptoms without any harmful substances. By choosing these natural remedies, you can ensure a healthy and worry-free experience during this special time.

1) Moisture:

This is a natural on-the-go remedy that helps aid the irritant congested chest. Go for a nice long hot shower or apply a warm compress.

2) Stay Hydrated

Inducing fluids into your body when you have a cold or down with the flu helps you pass through the fluids and clear your system.

3) Honey

As per a few studies, honey is known to be the best cold reliever and also improves your disturbed sleep. Try to mix in a teaspoon of honey with warm water before bedtime.

4) Peppermint

Peppermint contains menthol that helps thin the loosen mucus and phlegm. So, try to add 2-3 leaves in your warm water and help get rid of the irritant cold during breastfeeding.

5) Increase Fluid Intake

Increase your fluid intake by consuming water or fruit juices to facilitate mucus loosening and phlegm removal. However, if you have a medical condition that necessitates fluid or sugar restriction, like diabetes or heart failure, consult your doctor before increasing your fluid intake..

6) Extra Pillow

Elevate your head with an additional pillow while sleeping. This can promote the smoother drainage of fluids from your nasal passages.

For Sore Throat

Try these remedies:

  1. Warm saltwater gargle. 
  2. Soothe your throat with a throat lozenge or hard candy.
  3. Chew on ice chips.
  4. Sip a cup of warm tea.

Can You Take Mucinex While Breastfeeding Without Side Effects?

Mucinex while breastfeeding is a safe option but it’s important to use it responsibly and not for an extended duration. Remember that a small portion of the medication can pass through breast milk. To help speed up recovery, doctors recommend combining Mucinex with other remedies like rest, drinking hot liquids with honey, and using sinus rinses. This way, you can effectively manage your symptoms while ensuring the well-being of both you and your baby.

Cervical Mucus And Mucinex

A few individuals and older studies have suggested that Mucinex could potentially aid in becoming pregnant by making your cervical mucus thinner. However, it’s important to note that there isn’t sufficient recent evidence to confirm that cough syrup actually enhances fertility. If you’re trying to conceive, it’s a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional about various ways to improve your chances of getting pregnant.

To boost cervical mucus when it’s in short supply, you can consider treatments like vitamin B6, guaifenesin, antibiotics like amoxicillin, and a product called FertileCM. Some experts believe that vitamin B6 and antibiotics when taken during your fertile period, might help the cervix use estrogen more effectively at its intended location.

Consult Your Healthcare Provider

Mucinex is generally considered safe during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy as well as while breastfeeding. However, it’s always advisable to ask your doctor, if can you take Mucinex while pregnant or breastfeeding. You can discuss this article with your healthcare provider and ask these initial questions:

  1. Is it safe for me to use Mucinex, Mucinex D, or Mucinex DM?
  2. Which of these options is most suitable for my specific symptoms?
  3. Do any of my current medications contain the same ingredients as Mucinex?
  4. Are there non-pharmaceutical methods to alleviate my symptoms?
  5. Are there any health conditions I have that might be affected by Mucinex?

Your doctor will guide you in managing your symptoms safely during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, ensuring the well-being of you and your child.

Final Thoughts on Can You Take Mucinex While breastfeeding or Pregnant!

It is likely safe to say that using Mucinex while breastfeeding is safe, depending on the medication you choose. Nevertheless, we are aware that not all pregnancy is the same, therefore, using the medication widely without consulting your OB-GYN is a big NO! So, when choosing Mucinex while breastfeeding, make sure to get on a call with your OB-GYN and confirm if it’s okay for you and your baby, given you are breastfeeding.

Can you take mucinex while breastfeeding - FAQs:

1. What kind of Mucinex can I take while breastfeeding?

Both expectorant guaifenesin and dextromethorphan are found in Mucinex DM or Robitussin DM. These are okay to consume while breastfeeding.

2. What can I take for congestion while breastfeeding?

Oral decongestants such as pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are great to treat decongestants and are great to help treat the nasal congestion that is caused by colds, allergies, and sinus infections. They can be found in common in over-the-counter medications and are safe to consume while breastfeeding

3. What cold meds are safe while breastfeeding?

Dextromethorphan such as in Delsym and Robitussin for dry cough are considered to be safe while breastfeeding. On the other hand, guaifenesin ER (Mucinex) can loosen mucus. As always, when taking cold medication when you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is always the best and safest choice to consult either your OB-GYN or your baby’s Pediatrician for guidance.


Reviewed By-

Brandi Flores - Lactation Consultant

Brandi Flores - Lactation Consultant

Brandi Nicole is a pediatric nurse, a postpartum doula, and an international board-certified lactation consultant. She is a proud member of the International Lactation Consultant Association, the United States Lactation Consultant Association, and the Bay Area Lactation Associates.

On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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