Drug Levels and Effects:

Summary of Use during Lactation:

Glucosamine is an amino-monosaccharide that is either derived from shellfish or synthetically produced. Glucosaminesulfatehas no specific lactation-related uses. It is most commonly used to treat osteoarthritis. A glucosamine derivative, N-acetylglucosamine, is a normal component of human breastmilk. Glucosaminesulfateis well tolerated with occasional gastrointestinal discomfort (e.g., diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, vomiting) reported. Although no studies exist on the use of glucosaminesulfateduring breastfeeding, its use by a nursing mother is unlikely to adversely affect the breastfed infant. Dietary supplements do not require extensive pre-marketing approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are responsible to ensure the safety, but do not need to prove the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are marketed. Dietary supplements may contain multiple ingredients, and differences are often found between labeled and actual ingredients or their amounts. A manufacturer may contract with an independent organization to verify the quality of a product or its ingredients, but that does not certify the safety or effectiveness of a product. Because of the above issues, clinical testing results on one product may not be applicable to other products. More detailed informationabout dietary supplementsis available elsewhere on the LactMed Web site.

Drug Levels:

Maternal Levels.

N-acetylglucosamine is a normal component of human breastmilk. One study measured its content in the breastmilk of 8 mothers nursing full-term infants. Average concentrations ranged from 1,459 mg/L during week 1 postpartum to 646 mg/L during week 13 postpartum. Considerable variation occurred within and between mothers at various times of the day. Two mothers of preterm infants had higher levels of N-acetylglucosamine than the mothers of full-term infants.[1] Another study found higher levels of N-acetylglucosamine in the breastmilk of smokers than in nonsmokers.[2]

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.


1. Miller JB, Bull S, Miller J, McVeagh P. The oligosaccharide composition of human milk: temporal and individual variations in monosaccharide components. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1994;19:371-6. PMID:7876988
2. Milnerowicz H, Slowinska M. Concentration of metals, ceruloplasmin, metallothionein and the activity of N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosamine and gamma-glutamyltransferase in pregnant women who smoke and in those environmentally exposed to tobacco smoke and in their infants. Part I. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 1997;10:187-202. PMID:9278131

Substance Identification:

Substance Name:


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Drug Class:

  • Complementary Therapies

  • Administrative Information:

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    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.