Skin Cancer Home > Proleukin and Breastfeeding

Because no research has been done on breastfeeding and Proleukin (aldesleukin), it is unknown whether the drug passes through breast milk or if it would cause problems in a nursing infant. Therefore, the manufacturer recommends that women avoid breastfeeding while undergoing treatment. If a woman does decide to nurse, it may be best to wait several hours after receiving a dose of Proleukin.

Can Breastfeeding Women Use Proleukin?

Proleukin® (aldesleukin) is an injectable prescription medication approved to treat renal cell carcinoma (a type of kidney cancer) and melanoma (a type of skin cancer) after the disease has spread to other areas of the body.
 
At this time, it is unknown whether Proleukin passes through breast milk in humans. If you are nursing a child, talk with your healthcare provider before using this medication.
 

More Information on Proleukin and Breastfeeding

Proleukin has not been studied in women who are breastfeeding. Therefore, it is unknown if the drug passes through breast milk or if it would harm a nursing infant.
 
Although this lack of information is certainly frustrating, it is important to understand that studies of medications are rarely done in breastfeeding women, as this would usually expose an infant who will not directly benefit from the medication, to possible risks.
 
The properties of Proleukin make it unlikely to pass through breast milk, although this is not known for sure at this time. In addition, once injected, the drug is cleared from the body within hours. However, until more information is known, the potential for problems in a nursing infant cannot be completely ruled out.
 
The manufacturer of the drug advises women to not breastfeed during Proleukin treatment. Some experts suggest that if a woman does choose to breastfeed, she should wait at least four hours after each Proleukin dose to help reduce the potential exposure to a nursing infant.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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