Pharmacy Investigated for Recommending Potentially Unsafe Pain Product to Breastfeeding Woman

A British supermarket is launching an investigation into its pharmacy after a breastfeeding woman said she was advised to buy a potentially unsuitable product.

A British supermarket is launching an investigation into its pharmacy after a breastfeeding woman said she was advised to buy a potentially unsuitable product, according to Scunthorpe Telegraph.

Stacey Jepps, 25, visited the pharmacy inside a Tesco supermarket chain hoping to find a pain reliever for her neck. Jepps claimed the pharmacist suggested using Voltarol Pain-eze Emulgel.

“I asked if it was OK for breastfeeding women, and the pharmacist said yes,” Jepps told Scunthorpe Telegraph. “When I got home, something made me look at the label—maybe it was mother's instinct—and I saw it said it was unsuitable for women who are breastfeeding.”

Voltarol’s label recommends women who are breastfeeding to ask their doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking the medicine. The label cautioned that diclofenac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, passes into breast milk in small amounts.

“However, Voltarol Pain-eze Emulgel should not be applied on the breasts of nursing mothers nor elsewhere on large areas of skin or for a prolonged period of time,” the label states.

Jepps said she consulted another pharmacist who told her not to use the product.

“Providing advice to customers is a really important part of our pharmacy service,” a Tesco spokesperson told Scunthorpe Telegraph. “We've apologized to the customer for this incident, and we will be conducting a full investigation.”