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Drugs and Breastfeeding

Drugs in Lactation Analysis Consortium (DLAC)

Study Summary

“Drugs in Lactation” Analysis Consortium (DLAC) is a network of scientists who explore drug safety during breastfeeding. The network is designed for collection of patient breast milk samples in a real world setting, to generate pharmacokinetic information (how drugs are absorbed, distributed in body and metabolized). This information enables the researchers to predict drug levels in human milk and infant blood in a population. However, the scope of the network will eventually include monitoring for negative effects of drug exposure in infants.

Participation includes the following components:

  • Questionnaire: The questionnaire consists of a brief series of questions regarding demographics, health, medication history and ethnicity of mother and infant, as well as questions about infant development. It also contains a table to record the specifics of sample collection. Participants may complete the questionnaire at home or at SickKids with the help of the study coordinator.
  • Milk samples: Small breast milk samples (about 5-10 ml or 1-2 teaspoonful) are collected immediately before taking the medication, as well as several time-points after the medication. Containers for collection of samples are provided for participants. We measure drug levels in breast milk to gather pharmacokinetics data on drug excretion into milk.

Blood samples (optional): Donation of a small amount of blood (5 ml or a teaspoonful) from mother and/or baby is optional for participants (only in GTA), and will provide us with additional important information on pharmacokinetics of drugs. Drug sampling takes place in the phlebotomy unit of SickKids.