AIDS Home > Crixivan and Breastfeeding

It is generally recommended that women with HIV or AIDS avoid breastfeeding (including women who are taking Crixivan). Breastfeeding should be avoided because HIV passes through breast milk and can be transmitted to the nursing child. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about Crixivan and breastfeeding in your particular situation.

Crixivan and Breastfeeding: An Overview

It is not known whether Crixivan® (indinavir sulfate) passes through breast milk in humans. More importantly, it is almost always recommended that women with HIV or AIDS in developed countries (such as the United States) avoid breastfeeding in order to reduce the risk of transmitting the HIV infection to their infants. Therefore, most women taking Crixivan should avoid breastfeeding.

Crixivan and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?

Studies have demonstrated that Crixivan passes through breast milk in rats, but no studies have evaluated Crixivan in breastfeeding women. More importantly, the HIV virus can also pass through breast milk. 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 to wash the bottles. In these situations, it is difficult to know whether breastfeeding or formula feeding is more dangerous. In general, using both breastfeeding and formula feeding is considered to be most dangerous, 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 Crixivan and Breastfeeding

You should talk with your healthcare provider about Crixivan 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, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision about Crixivan and breastfeeding in your particular situation.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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