How Antibiotics Can Affect Your Baby

How Antibiotics Can Affect Your Baby
How Antibiotics Can Affect Your Baby

All about side effects of antibiotics on breastfed baby

Antibiotics, although a boon of modern medicine, can also prove to be a double edged sword. Recent studies have questioned whether they cause more harm than good. Seeing your baby regain strength after a bout of infection can instill faith in antibiotics, and may even tempt you to reuse the  antibiotic as soon as your child falls ill. But beware. All that glitters is not gold. Resistance and side effects of antibiotics are becoming increasingly common these days. Here’s what you should know before giving antibiotics to your little one.


Side effects of antibiotics on  babies

1. Common baby antibiotics side effects are as follows:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Stomach pain

  • Sensitivity to light


2. Your baby may also show an allergic reaction to certain antibiotics like penicillin or sulfa drugs. She may develop an itchy rash, hives or breathlessness as soon as the medicine is administered or in some cases after a few days.

3. Not all bacteria are harmful for your baby. Some bacterias present in the gut are extremely useful for digestion and keeping your baby’s intestine healthy. Antibiotics also destroy the healthy bacteria along with the harmful one, which in turn enables growth of fungal infections.

4. As useful bacteria get destroyed by antibiotics, a nappy rash may occur due to development of a yeast infection.

5. Antibiotic resistance is by far the worst side effect of all and is becoming a major health concern globally. When antibiotics are given incorrectly or are abused, the pathogens become resistant to them rendering them ineffective.


How to determine the antibiotic dose to reduce baby side effects to antibiotics?

Babies upto 6 months of age tend to vary a lot in size; hence the dose of the antibiotic is calculated based on the baby’s weight. Ensure that the medication is given as per strict instructions given by the doctor or on the label.


Is it safe to take antibiotics while breastfeeding?



During breastfeeding, medications can pass to the baby through the breast milk, which has the potential to produce harmful side effects. Always consult your doctor to know which antibiotics are safe to be taken during lactation.


Are there any antibiotics that are safe during lactation?

Here is a list of medications that are proven to be safe for the mother and the baby during lactation. However, always remember to consult your doctor before taking any medications.




Effects Unknown; Consume With Caution




Metronidazole (single high dose)







Antitubercular drugs

Mandelic acid



Metronidazole (low dose)



Nalidixic acid














Effects Unknown; Consume With Caution











Safe medicines: Ketoconazole


Medicines whose effects are unknown, consume with caution:

  • Amphotericin

  • Fluconazole

  • Flucytosine

  • Itraconazole



Safe medicines:

  • chloroquine

  • quinine

  • hydroxychloroquine

Medicines whose effects are unknown, consume with caution:

  • mefloquine

  • pentamidine

  • proguanil

  • primaquine

  • Pyrimethamine



Effects are unknown, consume these medications with caution-

  • mebendazole

  • pyrantel pamoate

  • Praziquantel

  • Quinacrine anthelmintic

  • Thiabendazole

  • Piperazine


Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.


Also read: Natural Remedies For Your Baby’s Cold

Explore the entire collection of articles: Baby Care



Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting