Drug Levels and Effects:

Summary of Use during Lactation:

Because there is limited published experience with ergotamine during breastfeeding and it might cause adverse effects in the infant, most authorities consider ergotamine to be undesirable to use during nursing.[1][2]

Drug Levels:

Maternal Levels.

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

Infant Levels.

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

Effects in Breastfed Infants:

A study in which ergotamine was administered to mothers of newborns immediately postpartum in a dose of 1 mg 3 times daily for 6 days found no effect on weight gain in the breastfed infants.[3] Milk intake, and therefore infant dosage, might have been minimal during the first few days before the mothers' milk came in fully.

Possible Effects on Lactation:

Thirty women who delivered full-term infants received a single intramuscular dose of methylergonovine 0.2 mg after delivery, followed by oral ergotamine 1 mg 3 times daily for 6 days. Compared to 28 women who delivered full-term infants and received no ergot derivatives, there was no difference in the milk production, as measured by weight differences before and after nursing, between the 2 groups during the first 6 days postpartum.[3]

Alternate Drugs to Consider:



1. Moretti ME, Lee A, Ito S. Which drugs are contraindicated during breastfeeding? Can Fam Physician. 2000;46:1753-7. PMID:11013791
2. WHO Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development. Breastfeeding and maternal medication. Recommendations for drugs in the eleventh WHO model list of essential drugs. 2002.
3. Jolivet A, Robyn C et al. [Effect of ergotalkaloidderivatives on milk secretion in the immediate postpartum period]. J Gynecol Obstet Biol Reprod (Paris). 1978;7:129-34. PMID:641312

Substance Identification:

Substance Name:


CAS Registry Number:


Drug Class:

  • Adrenergic Alpha-Agonists

  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic

  • Ergot
  • Alkaloids
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents

  • Administrative Information:

    LactMed Record Number:


    Last Revision Date:

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