Drug Levels and Effects:

Summary of Use during Lactation:

Most sources consider breastfeeding to be contraindicated during maternal antineoplastic drug therapy. It might be possible to breastfeed safely during intermittent therapy with an appropriate period of breastfeeding abstinence; however, the high levels and persistence of doxorubicinol in milk make defining an appropriate abstinence interval difficult.

Drug Levels:

Maternal Levels.

Doxorubicin, doxorubicinol and two other metabolites were detected in milk after administration of 70 mg/sq m (90 mg) of doxorubicin intravenously. Peak milk levels of 128 mcg/L of doxorubicin and 111 mcg/L of its active metabolite doxorubicinol occurred 24 hours after the dose. Both drugs were detectable in milk for at least 72 hours after the dose. Other metabolites were also detected in milk at lower levels.[1][2] Using these data, the breastfed infant in this case would have received an estimated 2% of maternal weight-adjusted dosage if he had been allowed to nurse throughout the 72 hours after the dose.

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:

Dependent on the condition being treated.


1. Egan PC, Costanza M, Dodion P et al. Secretion of doxorubicin (DOX) and cisplatin (DDP) into human milk. Proc ASCO. 1984;3:21. Abstract.
2. Egan PC, Costanza ME, Dodion P et al.Doxorubicinand cisplatin excretion into human milk. Cancer Treat Rep. 1985;69:1387-9. PMID:4075315

Substance Identification:

Substance Name:


CAS Registry Number:


Drug Class:

  • Antineoplastic Agents

  • Administrative Information:

    LactMed Record Number:


    Last Revision Date:

    Disclaimer:Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.