Invirase and Breastfeeding

No studies have been done on Invirase and breastfeeding in women, so it is not known if the drug passes through breast milk. However, it is known that the HIV virus can pass through breast milk. Because of this, it is generally recommended that any HIV-infected woman who can safely feed her infant with formula not breastfeed while taking Invirase.

Can I Breastfeed While Taking Invirase?

It is not known if Invirase® (saquinavir mesylate) passes through breast milk in women. However, breastfeeding is not recommended for women with HIV or AIDS in developed countries (such as the United States) in order to reduce the chance of transmitting the HIV infection to their infants. Therefore, most women taking Invirase should avoid breastfeeding.

Invirase and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?

Studies have shown that Invirase passes through breast milk in rats, but no studies have been done to see if the drug passes through breast milk in women. However, Invirase is likely to pass through breast milk in humans, based on its chemical structure. More importantly, the HIV virus can also pass through breast milk. Therefore, any HIV-infected woman who can safely feed her baby with formula should not breastfeed.
There are some situations in which formula feeding is not safe, such as if no clean water supply is available to mix the formula or wash the bottles. In these situations, it is difficult to know whether breastfeeding or formula feeding is more dangerous. In these cases, the most dangerous situation would be using both breastfeeding and formula feeding, as digestive system irritation or infections from unclean water can allow HIV to pass into the body from the digestive tract more easily.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Invirase and Breastfeeding

You should talk with your healthcare provider about Invirase and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision about Invirase and breastfeeding that is right for you.
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