Q. Is cough medicine safe while breastfeeding?

Answered by
Dr. Divakara. P
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 29, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 11, 2022

Hi doctor,

My wife is a lactating mother of two months old baby. Since one week she is suffering from bad dry cough. For the past two days she is unable to sleep. For every five to ten minutes she gets cough. We consulted a doctor and had medicine. But, still there is no relief. I attached the medicines that we have followed. Also had Ascoril-D syrup and Relent tablet. How long does it take to cure the dry cough? Will the prescribed medicine dry up the breast milk? Can cough medicine affect baby? We tried home remedies like honey, ginger and black pepper. After delivery my wife used to drink hot water only. None of the above remedies worked. None of them reduced the cough. Please advise us.



Welcome to I went through your query and the prescription (attachment removed to protect patient identity).

Most likely your wife might be having throat infection for which she has not received proper treatment. I recommend her to get a test called throat swab culture sensitivity and revert back with reports. She needs to be started on an antibiotic. I recommend tablet Azithromycin 500 mg once a day for five days. This medicine is safe while breastfeeding. The medicines given by your doctor were safe. Do not worry about any side effects to your baby. In addition let her do salt water gargling four to five times per day, drink hot water, avoid non-vegetarian food and avoid citrus fruits.

I hope this helps.

Thank you.

Hello doctor,

My 2 months baby is also hospitalized due to bad cough. After discharge doctors suggested Erythromycin drops for my kid for one more week. So, my son is taking prescribed medication. At this time, can my wife take Azithromycin tablet? Will it cause any side effects to the baby who is in under medication? I have attached my son's prescription. Will mother having cough again affect the child? How serious is my son's cough? Does it really take three to four weeks to get rid of the cough?



Welcome back to

No, your wife taking Azithromycin will not affect your child and your son's prescription is fine. Yes, if mother is coughing continuously, then definitely she will transmit the infection to child repeatedly. No, it should not take three weeks for cough to heal if properly treated. Your doctors have not made a confirmed diagnosis. Ask them to run some tests like chest x-ray, throat swab culture sensitivity and Mantoux test.

I hope this helps.

Thank you.

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