AIDS Home > Agenerase and Breastfeeding

Because no studies have been done on Agenerase and breastfeeding in humans, it is unknown if the medication is safe to take while nursing. However, women with HIV are often advised to avoid breastfeeding to prevent transmitting the infection to their infant. Therefore, it can also be assumed that women who are taking Agenerase should not breastfeed.

Is Agenerase Safe for Use While Breastfeeding?

At this time, it is not known if Agenerase® (amprenavir) passes through breast milk in women. However, women with HIV or AIDS in developed countries (such as the United States) are typically advised not to breastfeed in order to reduce the risk of transmitting the HIV infection to their infants. Therefore, most women taking Agenerase should avoid breastfeeding.
Agenerase is no longer available in the United States. The manufacturer stopped making it due to low demand, since it has been largely replaced by fosamprenavir (Lexiva®), a similar medication.

Agenerase and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?

Studies have shown that Agenerase passes through breast milk in rats, but no studies have been done to see if the drug passes through breast milk in humans. Based on the chemical structure of Agenerase, it is likely to pass through breast milk in humans. More importantly, the HIV virus can 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 general, the most dangerous situation in these situations is 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.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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