Drug Levels and Effects:

Summary of Use during Lactation:

A moderate amount of information indicates that maternal doses of cefotetan up to 2 grams daily produce low levels in milk that are not expected to cause adverse effects in breastfed infants. Occasionally, disruption of the infant's gastrointestinal flora, resulting in diarrhea or thrush, has been reported with cephalosporins, but these effects have not been adequately evaluated. Cefotetan is acceptable to use during breastfeeding.

Drug Levels:

Maternal Levels.

After a single 1 gram dose of cefotetan to 7 women, the drug was not detected (<0.195 mg/L) in milk in 2 women at any time up to 6 hours after the dose. In the remaining 5 women, average milk levels ranged from 0.22 to 0.34 mg/L from 1 to 6 hours after the dose. The average peak level was 0.34 mg/L 4 hours after the dose, although individual peak levels ranged from 0.25 to 0.5 mg/L at 3 to 4 hours after the dose.[1]

Five women were given 1 gram of cefotetan every 12 hours intramuscularly for 2 days. Milk cefotetan levels were undetectable 1 hour after the first dose. From 4 to 10 hours, milk levels ranged from 0.3 to 0.59 mg/L, with the peak occurring 7 hours after the dose. Ten hours after the second, third and fifth doses, milk levels ranged from 0.29 to 0.37 mg/L.[2]

After a single 1 gram dose of cefotetan in 2 women, average cefotetan concentrations of 0.1 and 0.2 mg/L occurred at 2 and 4 hours after the dose, respectively. It was undetectable at 1 and 6 hours after the dose.[3]

Infant Levels.

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants:

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Possible Effects on Lactation:

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Alternate Drugs to Consider:



1. Cho N, Fukunaga K, Kuni K. Fundamental and clinical studies on cefotetan (YM09330) in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. Chemotherapy (Tokyo). 1982;30 (suppl 1):832-42.
2. Novelli A, Mazzei T, Ciuffi M et al. The penetration of intramuscular cefotetandisodiuminto human extra-vascular fluid and maternal milk secretion. Chemotherapy (Basel). 1983;2:337-42.
3. Matsuda S. Transfer of antibiotics into maternal milk. Biol Res Pregnancy. 1984;5:57-60. PMID:6743732

Substance Identification:

Substance Name:


CAS Registry Number:


Drug Class:

  • Antiinfective Agents

  • Antibacterial Agents

  • Cephalosporins

  • Administrative Information:

    LactMed Record Number:


    Last Revision Date:

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