Get your baby off to the best start with free tips from Start4Life.


Can I take ibuprofen while I’m breastfeeding?

Yes, you can take ibuprofen, as long as you do not have an active stomach ulcer or asthma that gets worse if you take ibuprofen.

Ibuprofen appears in your breast milk in small amounts. It is unlikely to cause any harm to your baby. For further information, speak to your GP, pharmacist or dentist. Let them know that you’re breastfeeding before you take any medicine.

You should seek further advice from your GP before taking ibuprofen if your baby was born early (prematurely), had a low birth weight or has a medical condition.

Ibuprofen and pregnancy

You should ideally avoid ibuprofen during pregnancy, unless advised to take it by a doctor.

If you are advised by a doctor to take ibuprofen, you should let him or her know if you have an active stomach ulcer or asthma that gets worse if you take ibuprofen, or if you are taking chronic low-dose aspirin therapy.

Different forms of ibuprofen

Ibuprofen can come in many different forms, such as:

  • tablets
  • capsules
  • gels
  • sprays

The packets of some ibuprofen medicines may advise you to avoid using them while you’re breastfeeding. Check with your pharmacist or GP if you are concerned.

Getting advice

Find more information about your medicine in the patient information leaflet that comes with it or read the information on the packet.

If you have any concerns, or need any help understanding the information and relating it to your own situation, you can:

  • talk to your midwife, health visitor, GP or pharmacist
  • see the drugs in breast milk factsheets by the Breastfeeding Network
  • call the drugs in breast milk helpline on 0844 412 4665
  • call NHS 111 if available in your area 

Read the answers to more questions about medicines.

Further information:


Page last reviewed: 19/03/2015

Next review due: 28/02/2018