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Codeine Can Pass From Breast Milk to Child

19 Aug

omen who undergo episiotomy during childbirth might be prescribed codeine laden painkillers to moderate the pain after such procedures.  Recent studies show that codeine can be passed from the breast milk to the baby. Codeine turns to morphine in the body. This can affect the baby’s health. Parents should be aware of this. Signs of morphine overdose in children, beyond increased sleepiness, include difficulty breast-feeding or breathing and limpness. Nursing mothers may also experience overdose symptoms, such as extreme sleepiness, confusion, shallow breathing or severe constipation, the FDA said.Consult your doctor if you or your baby appears to be unusually sleepy  while on pain-killers. Tests have revealed that a woman’s body converted the codeine to morphine more quickly than in other people due to a genetic mutation and this conversion leads to higher morphine levels in breast milk.The risk of having the genetic mutation ranges from about one per cent in Hispanics, Chinese and Japanese, to three per cent in African-Americans, one per cent to 10 per cent in Caucasians, and as high as 16 per cent to 28 per cent in North Africans, Ethiopians and Saudis, said Sandra Kweder, the FDA’s deputy director, office of new drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a release.Unfortunately codeine is one of the most common drugs mothers take. Codeine are found in several prescription pain killers and over the counter cough syrups, and, according to Health Canada, including these popular drugs: Tylenol  No. 1 capule, Tylenon with Codeine No. 2 and Tylenol No. 3, 222, Dimetapp C Syrup, Robitussin A-C Syrup and Sinutab with codeine.Don’t be scared be aware.

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