AIDS Home > Viramune and Breastfeeding
In clinical studies on Viramune and breastfeeding, the drug was shown to pass through breast milk. More importantly, HIV can also pass through breast milk. Due to these potential risks, women with HIV or AIDS should avoid breastfeeding in general. Since every woman is different, you should talk to your healthcare provider about Viramune and breastfeeding in your particular situation.
Viramune® (nevirapine) passes through breast milk in humans. Most 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 chance of transmitting the HIV infection to their infants. Therefore, most women taking Viramune should not breastfeed.
Studies have demonstrated that Viramune passes through breast milk in women. Importantly, HIV 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 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.
You should talk with your healthcare provider about Viramune 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 Viramune and breastfeeding in your particular situation.