Exposure of infants to budesonide through breast milk of asthmatic mothers

Anette Falt, Thomas Bengtsson, Britt-Marie Kennedy, Ann Gyllenberg, Bengt Lindberg, Lars Thorsson, Kerstin Strandgarden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (SciVal)


Background: Maintenance treatment with inhaled corticosteroids is often required for asthmatic nursing women. Data on the transfer of inhaled corticosteroids from plasma to breast milk and the subsequent exposure of the breast-feeding infant has been unavailable. Objective: We sought to assess budesonide concentrations in milk and plasma of asthmatic nursing women receiving maintenance treatment with the Pulmicort Turbuhaler and estimate the exposure of their breast-fed infants. Methods: Milk and plasma samples were collected up to 8 hours after dosing from 8 mothers receiving budesonide maintenance treatment (200 or 400 mu g twice daily). Pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated from budesonide milk and plasma concentrations. Infant exposure was estimated based on average milk budesonide concentrations. A single blood sample was obtained from 5 infants close to expected infant maximum concentration. Results: Budesonide concentrations in milk reflected those in maternal plasma, supporting passive diffusion of budesonide between plasma and milk, and was always lower than that in plasma. The mean milk/plasma ratio was 0.46. The estimated daily infant dose was 0.3% of the daily maternal dose for both dose levels, and the average plasma concentration in infants was estimated to be 1/600th of the concentrations observed in maternal plasma, assuming complete infant oral bioavailability. Budesonide concentrations in infant plasma samples were all less than the limit of quantification. Conclusion: Maintenance treatment with inhaled budesonide (200 or 400 mu g twice daily) in asthmatic nursing women results in negligible systemic exposure to budesonide in breast-fed infants. Clinical implications: These data support continued use of inhaled budesonide during breast-feeding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)798-802
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


  • breast milk
  • asthma
  • pulmicort
  • budesonide


Dive into the research topics of 'Exposure of infants to budesonide through breast milk of asthmatic mothers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this