Tools and Resources

Lactation suppression: Can medication help?

Can medication help suppress lactation after childbirth?

Yes but medication for lactation suppression generally isn't recommended.

Injections of high doses of estrogen were once used to stop milk production. Estrogen injections aren't used today, however, due to a risk of potentially dangerous blood clots.

Similarly, bromocriptine (Parlodel) a drug that was once used for lactation suppression is no longer recommended. The drug has been associated with high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, especially for women who developed high blood pressure during pregnancy.

If breast-feeding isn't possible, it's safest to let milk production diminish naturally. In the meantime, don't stimulate your breasts or express milk.

To relieve breast engorgement and pain which typically peaks during the first week after delivery you might:

  • Wear a supportive bra
  • Apply ice packs to your breasts
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers
Updated: 1/16/2013

© 1998-2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.com," "EmbodyHealth," "Enhance your life," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to content provided to this site by MayoClinic.com/Mayo Clinic Health Information. Use thereof signifies your agreement to these terms of use.