Zerit and Breastfeeding

Because there have been no studies done on Zerit and breastfeeding, it is not known if the medication passes through breast milk in humans. However, it is generally recommended that women who have HIV or AIDS avoid breastfeeding, in order to reduce the chance of passing the HIV virus to your child. Because formula feeding may not be an option either, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about what is best for your situation.

Zerit and Breastfeeding: An Overview

At this time, it is not known if Zerit® (stavudine) passes through breast milk. In almost all cases, it is recommended that women with HIV or AIDS in developed countries (such as the United States) avoid breastfeeding their infants, in order to reduce the chance of transmitting the HIV infection to their infants. Therefore, almost all women taking Zerit should not breastfeed.
 

Zerit and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?

No research has been done to see if Zerit passes through breast milk in humans (or if it would cause any problems in the nursing infant). Studies have shown that Zerit passes through breast milk in rats. It is very important to understand that the HIV virus can 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 the most dangerous situation, 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 Zerit and Breastfeeding

You should talk with your healthcare provider about Zerit 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 Zerit and breastfeeding in your particular situation.
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