Published: 4 March 2021


Green breast milk – related to propofol?

Published: 4 March 2021
Prescriber Update 42(1): 8
March 2021

Propofol is an anaesthetic agent used for induction and maintenance of general anaesthesia in adults and children.1 It has been reported that propofol may discolour urine.1 Here we note a report of propofol and breast milk discolouration.

In August 2020, the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) received a report of a 29-year-old patient who had received propofol as an anaesthetic agent and whose expressed breast milk appeared green post-surgery (CARM ID 138010).

Internationally, there are other case reports of green breast milk following administration of propofol.2–4

The reason for the discolouration is unclear. Healthcare professionals are reminded to check the New Zealand data sheet for information on breastfeeding following administration of propofol. (Search for a data sheet.)


  1. New Zealand Formulary. 2020. New Zealand Formulary v103: Propofol 1 January 2021. URL: (accessed 19 January 2021).
  2. Birkholz T, Eckardt G, Renner S, et al. 2009. Green breast milk after propofol administration. Anesthesiology 111: 1168–9. URL: (accessed 21 January 2021).
  3. Rainone A, Delucilla L, Elofer S, et al. 2018. Propofol-induced green breast milk: A case report. Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy 71(6): 389–91. URL: (accessed 21 January 2021).
  4. Bulut O and Ovali F. 2020. Green breast milk: A rare side effect of propofol. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 8 September 2020. URL: (accessed 21 January 2021).
Hide menus
Show menus
0 1 2 4 5 6 7 9 [ /