Last update: June 12, 2019


Low Risk for breastfeeding

Moderately safe. Probably compatible.
Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended.
Read the Comment.

A sympathomimetic with alpha-adrenergic action. It produces peripheral vasoconstriction and increased blood pressure without stimulating effects on the central nervous system.

Used as decongestant in topical nasal preparations at low concentration, in association with other drugs, in oral preparations to treat respiratory catarrh (Nice 2000, Kanfer 1993) and in eye drops at concentrations of up to 10% as a mydriatic. It is also used subcutaneously or intramuscularly in severe hypotensive states and in association with topical anesthetics.

Since the last update, we have not found published data on its excretion in breast milk.

The low dose of phenylephrine in nasal, ophthalmic and topical preparations makes its unlikely that it will transfer into breastmilk in significant amounts. It is prudent to press on the tear glands after adminitering eye drops in order to reduce absorption.

Its low oral bioavailability complicates its transfer to the infant’s plasma from ingested breastmilk, except in premature babies and the immediate neonatal period in which there may be increased intestinal permeability.

Nasal and ophthalmic use is authorized in children under one year of age.

Avoid excessive or prolonged oral use and use the minimum sufficient dose.

A similar molecule, pseudoephedrine, can cause a decrease in milk production (Aljazaf 2003).

See below the information of this related product:


Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Phenylephrine is also known as

Phenylephrine in other languages or writings:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Phenylephrine in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 38 %
Molecular weight 204 daltons
Protein Binding 95 %
VD 2,6 - 7,8 l/Kg
pKa 8,8 -
Tmax 0,2 - 1 hours
T1/2 2 - 3,4 hours


  1. Redaction Prescrire. Pour mieux soigner, des médicaments à écarter : bilan 2018. 2018 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. AEMPS-M4Pharm. Fenilefrina Oftalmica. Ficha técnica. 2017 Full text (in our servers)
  3. Comité de Medicamentos de la Asociación Española de Pediatría. Fenilefrina. Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. FDA. Phenylephrine. Drug Summary. 2014 Full text (in our servers)
  5. White-Traut R, Shapiro N, Healy-Baker E, Menchavez L, Rankin K, Medoff-Cooper B. Lack of feeding progression in a preterm infant: a case study. Adv Neonatal Care. 2013 Jun;13(3):175-80. Abstract
  6. Aljazaf K, Hale TW, Ilett KF, Hartmann PE, Mitoulas LR, Kristensen JH, Hackett LP. Pseudoephedrine: effects on milk production in women and estimation of infant exposure via breastmilk. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2003 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Nice FJ, Snyder JL, Kotansky BC. Breastfeeding and over-the-counter medications. J Hum Lact. 2000 Nov;16(4):319-31. Review. Erratum in: J Hum Lact 2001 Feb;17(1):90. Abstract
  8. Kanfer I, Dowse R, Vuma V. Pharmacokinetics of oral decongestants. Pharmacotherapy. 1993 Abstract

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