Viramune XR and Breastfeeding

Research on Viramune XR (nevirapine XR) and breastfeeding has shown that the medication passes through breast milk. However, because the HIV virus can also pass through breast milk, it is typically recommended that women who have HIV or AIDS avoid breastfeeding to reduce the chance of transmitting the virus to their nursing infant.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Viramune XR?

Viramune® XR™ (nevirapine XR) is known to pass through breast milk in humans. Regardless, it is almost always recommended that women with HIV or AIDS in developed countries, including the United States, avoid breastfeeding to reduce the chance of transmitting the HIV infection to their infants. As a result, most women taking Viramune XR should not breastfeed.

More Information on Viramune XR and Breastfeeding

Studies have shown that Viramune XR passes through breast milk in women. More importantly, HIV 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 is 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

You should discuss breastfeeding and Viramune XR use with your healthcare provider. 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 that is right for you.
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Viramune XR Medication Information

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