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MetroCream and Breastfeeding

Research has shown that the active ingredient in MetroCream (metronidazole cream) does pass through human breast milk. Although there have not been any reports of significant side effects in a nursing infant, there is some concern that this product may increase the risk for childhood or adult cancer. Due to this risk, the manufacturer recommends that women not use MetroCream while breastfeeding.

Can Breastfeeding Women Use MetroCream?

MetroCream® (metronidazole cream) passes through breast milk in humans. There is some concern about the carcinogenic (cancer-causing) potential of metronidazole (the active ingredient in MetroCream), especially when young children are exposed to it.
If you are breastfeeding or plan to start, you should talk with your healthcare provider before using MetroCream. The manufacturer recommends that women not use this product while nursing.

More Information on MetroCream and Breastfeeding

Studies have shown that metronidazole passes through breast milk. No significant side effects in the infants have been reported due to maternal use of metronidazole. However, there is a theoretical risk of childhood (or even adult) cancer due to exposure through breast milk. Metronidazole increases the risk of certain cancers in mice and rats; it is unknown if the same is true for humans.
Keep in mind that the levels found in breast milk after using metronidazole skin products, including MetroCream, are probably quite low, much lower than would be found after taking metronidazole by mouth. This suggests that a nursing infant would probably be exposed to very little of the drug through breast milk.
If your healthcare provider recommends using MetroCream while breastfeeding, be sure to watch for any potential problems, especially diarrhea, thrush, or yeast infections, which have been reported in infants exposed to metronidazole through breast milk.
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