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Ear drops and breastfeeding

Continuing to work down the list of frequently asked questions and adding information from Breastfeeding and Medication 2018

If you are a professional or a volunteer frequently encountering questions from mothers or other members of the family maybe you would like to treat yourself to a copy!

The ear drops I am asked about most frequently asked about are OTOMIZE and LOCORTEN VIOFORM but this fact sheet contains many others. Hope it puts everyone’s mind at rest. I remember a consultant many years ago telling a mother she couldn’t breastfeed for 2 weeks after using anti inflammatory ear drops. Unless she was going to drip excess out of the ear canal onto her nipples I could see no logic for this. I hope things have moved on but the patient information leaflet still causes concern.

pdf of factsheet available ear drops and breastfeeding

Absorption of ear drops is unlikely to reach clinical significance in breastmilk as there is virtually no means of absorption into the systemic system from the external ear canal.

Ear drops generally include corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, antibiotics to reduce otitis external, antifungals, local anaesthetics for pain and ingredients to soften and remove earwax. Treatment of otitis media with ear drops is generally ineffective and is better treated by simple analgesia and, if necessary, antibiotics. Almond oil, olive oil and sodium bicarbonate solution are all used to soften ear wax.

Examples of ear drops and their ingredients:

Betnesol N® Betamethasone And Neomycin)

Betnesol® (Betamethasone),

Cerumol® (Chlorbutanol),

Gentisone HC®  (Gentamicin And Hydrocortisone)

Gentisone® (Gentamicin)

Locorten-Vioform® (Flumetasone And Clioquinol)

Neo-Cortef® (Hydrocortisone And Neomycin)

Otex® (Urea Hydrogen Peroxide)

Otomize® (Dexamethasone, Neomycin And Acetic Acid)

Otosprorin® (Polymyxin B Neomycin Hydrocortisone)

Predsol N® (Prednisolone And Neomycin)

Predsol® (Prednisolone)

Sofradex® (Dexamethasone Framycetin Gramicidin)

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