Last update Aug. 6, 2021

Potassium Permanganate


Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.

Used topically as a skin disinfectant and, together with formaldehyde, in disinfection of rooms. Multiple industrial uses.
It is very corrosive, and can cause burns, therefore, in human use it must be used highly diluted (0.01%: 1:10,000).

At the date of the last update, the authors did not find any published data on its excretion in breast milk.

The small dose and poor plasma absorption of most topical dermatological preparations make it unlikely that a significant amount will pass into breast milk.

Potassium is an ion present in breast milk at a concentration 3 to 7 times greater than that of plasma: ≈ 14 - 18 mEq/L (Lawrence 2016, Allen 1991).
Like other monovalent ions, it enters and leaves the milk freely, inversely to the lactose concentration (Lawrence 2016 p119).
Potassium supplements do not significantly change levels in breast milk (Hale, Ereman 1987).
In the body, it is found mainly within cells, with a plasma concentration within precise limits (3.5 to 5.5 mEq/L), outside of which there are serious clinical alterations.
Potassium treatments cannot raise the concentration in milk without first altering that of the blood.

Do not apply on the breasts to prevent the infant from ingesting it; if necessary, apply after one feeding and clean well with water before the next.

WHO Essential Medicines List: compatible with breastfeeding (WHO 2002).


Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

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

Potassium Permanganate in other languages or writings:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Potassium Permanganate in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Molecular weight 158 daltons


  1. Hale TW. Medications & Mothers' Milk. 1991- . Springer Publishing Company. Available from Consulted on April 10, 2024 Full text (link to original source)
  2. Lawrence RA, Lawrence RM. Breastfeeding. A guide for the medical profession. Eighth Edition. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2016
  3. OMS. Ingesta de potasio en adultos y niños. Resumen. Directrices 2013 Full text (in our servers)
  4. WHO. Potassium intake for adults and children. Guideline 2012 Full text (in our servers)
  5. Hall Moran V, Lowe N, Crossland N, Berti C, Cetin I, Hermoso M, Koletzko B, Dykes F. Nutritional requirements during lactation. Towards European alignment of reference values: the EURRECA network. Matern Child Nutr. 2010 Oct;6 Suppl 2:39-54. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. WHO / UNICEF. BREASTFEEDING AND MATERNAL MEDICATION Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs. Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (WHO/UNICEF) 2002 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Allen JC, Keller RP, Archer P, Neville MC. Studies in human lactation: milk composition and daily secretion rates of macronutrients in the first year of lactation. Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Abstract
  8. Ereman RR, Lönnerdal B, Dewey KG. Maternal sodium intake does not affect postprandial sodium concentrations in human milk. J Nutr. 1987 Abstract

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