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talsi

Filtering medicine from human milk

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Hey,

 

We've just had our first baby and unfortunately my wife was diagnosed with epilepsy and needs to take a certain drug named Levetiracetam.

The drug is passed to human milk and its safety for babies is still under debate.

 

I think that in 2015, there must be a way to filter out the drug from human milk - and I want to devote myself to it. I'll be happy to get some thoughts and starting points on how do you see this filteration possible (I have an MSc).

 

Thanks!

 

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That is pretty much it. Theoretically one could try to target specific compounds using immunoprecipitation, but that would be costly, has low throughput and the result would not be safe for ingestion (although you will end up with tiny amounts, anyway).

There are much cheaper alternatives to that.

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A good idea, but I'm afraid that after being filtered by the system, the milk won't be fresh, and the risk for contamination will increase.

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You might be better having several milk samples tested and see what the levels are, I have no idea what amount your wife takes but it may be low enough not to matter a great deal.

 

Ultimately you will have to decide the risk versus benefit of breast milk compared to milk feeds taking into account the levels of the drug found in her milk. Are there other medications that might be more suitable for her at this time?

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Filtering FOR things is not as simple as that. Usually you pull a lot of other stuff in the process. Sometimes the act of filtering can actually break down or alter some chemical structures. In addition as MandySwift pointed out, increased risk of contamination.

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As Hyper pointed out, general filtration, dialysis or separation that is able to remove small molecules will lead to having very expensive water rather than milk.

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Perhaps if you could make a prosthetic organ to replace the organ that makes the milk in the first place, the prosthetic could be made to block certain chemicals like Levetiracetam from reaching the milk.

 

If that isn't possible, find a powder mix alternative like gerber milk mix.

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