AIDS Home > Reyataz and Breastfeeding
Women with HIV or AIDS should not breastfeed, including those who are taking HIV medications (such as Reyataz). Breastfeeding is generally not recommended because HIV can be transmitted from a mother to her nursing child through breast milk. Due to this potential risk, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about Reyataz and breastfeeding in your particular situation.
Currently, it is not known whether Reyataz® (atazanavir sulfate) passes through breast milk in humans. However, women with HIV or AIDS in developed countries (such as the United States) are almost always advised to avoid breastfeeding in order to reduce the chance of transmitting the HIV infection to their infants. Therefore, most women taking Reyataz should avoid breastfeeding.
Studies have demonstrated that Reyataz passes through breast milk in rats, but no studies have evaluated the drug in breastfeeding women. Based on the chemical properties of Reyataz, however, it is likely to pass through breast milk in humans. 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 tell whether breastfeeding or formula feeding is more dangerous. In general, using both breastfeeding and formula feeding is considered the 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.
You should talk with your healthcare provider about Reyataz 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 Reyataz and breastfeeding that is right for you.