Curious Moms Ask: Can I Take Nyquil While Breastfeeding?

  • Nyquil is a type of medicine used to treat colds and allergies
  •  Not all variants of Nyquil are safe to use when breastfeeding
  •  We’ve listed alternative home remedies to Nyquil for colds
  •  Bonus video: Dayquil while breastfeeding

Are you suffering from allergies and congestion, especially late at night?

Do you want something to give you some relief so you can try to sleep it off?

Can you take Nyquil when breastfeeding your little one?

Many nursing moms worry about the risks of taking Nyquil while breastfeeding, and you may have heard that this is a medication you should avoid at all costs while you’re nursing your child. But what’s the problem with taking it? Isn’t it something that can help you feel better and get back on your feet sooner so you’ll be able to take care of your baby without feeling sluggish and sick?

There are a lot of good reasons to take Nyquil, but when you’re nursing your child, you may want to just stay away from it. In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know so you’ll be able to make this decision for yourself. The next time you find yourself asking, “Can I take Nyquil while breastfeeding?” you’ll know exactly how to answer that.

So let’s get started.

What is Nyquil?

Nyquil is a type of medication that includes a lot of different medicines that are used to treat symptoms related to the common cold. It may also be used for allergies and the flu, depending on the type of Nyquil you have.

One of the key factors of Nyquil is its ability to help calm down a cough and improve a stuffy head enough for the sick person to be able to get a good night’s sleep. Nyquil comes in a lot of different varieties, some of which are safer for use with breastfeeding babies than others.

Which Types of Nyquil are Safe?

Some types of Nyquil are safer than others for you to take while you’re nursing your little one. For a handful of different reasons, which we will get into a little later on, these ty​pes are generally considered fine for use and don’t have any ingredients that could negatively affect your child or your breastfeeding abilities and milk supply. However, as with any type of medication you may consider taking while nursing, it’s a good idea to double-check on these with your healthcare provider or with a pharmacist before making any final decisions.

  • No type of Nyquil contains pseudoephedrine, which is one allergy medication that could negatively impact your ability to nurse and your milk supply. You don’t have to worry about this in any form of Nyquil.
  • Some types of Nyquil, especially those for the flu, contain acetaminophen, which is the same as the active ingredient in Tylenol. This is safe for use with breastfeeding babies, so any Nyquil containing this ingredient is fine.
  • Dextromethorphan is the active ingredient in most types of Nyquil. It’s considered safe for breastfeeding moms and babies both.

Some types of Nyquil contain doxylamine, which is an antihistamine. There haven’t been any significant studies on whether or not this is safe for breastfeeding moms to take. However, there also hasn’t been any information to lead most healthcare professionals to believe it’s unsafe, either.

What Makes Some Types Unsafe?

Some types of Nyquil are not safe for use when breastfeeding, even in small amounts. Even just one dose could cause negative effects for your baby, but why is that? What makes some kinds of Nyquil fine for a breastfeeding mom to take and other kinds dangerous? Check out our tips below to help you better understand which kinds of Nyquil you should stay away from at all times when you’re planning to nurse your little one. With this handy list, you’ll be better able to identify all sorts of medications you should stay away from while you’re nursing your child.

types of nyquil are not safe
  • Some types of Nyquil contain phenylephrine, which may be less safe for breastfeeding babies. While there haven’t been a lot of studies performed for this drug’s safety with relation to nursing moms and babies, you should exercise caution when using a type of Nyquil that contains this ingredient, just in case.
  • Nyquil Severe Cold & Flu contains all of the medications listed above as well as phenylephrine. This is a large combination of medicine that you may not want to expose your baby to. Although there have been no known negative reactions for babies exposed to this combination of medicines, it’s probably best to stick to a less extreme form of Nyquil if need be.
  • All liquid types of Nyquil contain alcohol in some percentage. This is to help the person who takes the medication sleep soundly when dealing with a head cold. Unfortunately, this presence of alcohol makes liquid Nyquil dangerous for use with breastfeeding moms. You should never consume anything with any alcohol content while you’re nursing your baby, and that includes Nyquil.

Alternatives to Nyquil

Of course, knowing that you should probably stay away from Nyquil isn’t a lot of help when you’re suffering with a bad head cold or terrible allergy symptoms. However, don’t worry! There’s a bright side to this. Even though you can’t take most types of Nyquil while nursing, there are some other alternative remedies you can try that are much safer for use with a breastfeeding baby. Keep a list of these handy for the next time you feel a cold creeping up—or just stock your bathroom with them so you’ll be ready to fight off whatever may come your way.

  • Lemon: This can help you fight congestion as well as soothe a sore throat. It can even help you get your voice back if you’ve lost it due to allergies.
  • Lavender: This is great for dealing with sinus pain. You can either light some lavender essential oil and breathe it in to ease the pain or drink some lavender tea.
  • Peppermint: Soothes headaches as well as stomach discomfort related to the flu and head colds.
  • Bergamot: This is a nice-smelling herbal ingredient that gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavor. As an essential oil or as a tea, bergamot is great for helping relieve congestion, sinus pain, and other symptoms associated with colds and the flu.

Note: With any alternative home remedies, always ask your healthcare provider or your baby’s pediatrician before trying these out.


When it comes down to it, Nyquil may not be the best allergy medicine to take while you’re nursing your baby. However, sometimes the pain and discomfort from dealing with sinus and allergy issues is just too much to deal with, and that’s understandable. In this situation, you should stay away from the Nyquil Cold & Flu brands and stick to traditional Nyquil for best results. Never take liquid Nyquil; always take the pill or gel cap variety so you won’t be exposed to the alcohol content in the liquid.

As with any treatments for illness, speak to your doctor or your baby’s pediatrician if you’re concerned about taking Nyquil while nursing. You may also be able to talk to your pharmacist about any concerns you might have.