Is it safe to take Lyrica while pregnant?
When a woman becomes pregnant, everything she puts into her body can affect the fetus developing in her womb. This is true for foods and beverages as well as other substances. Because the fetus is so sensitive during pregnancy, it is recommended that women avoid using drugs as much as possible. This is true for prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and illegal drugs. However, some women may need to stay on certain medications during their pregnancy because they need them to function in their daily lives.
Lyrica is a prescription medication used to treat a variety of conditions, such as pain caused by nerve damage due to diabetes, shingles infection, or spinal cord injury. It can also be used to treat fibromyalgia patients’ pain and certain types of seizures.
Currently, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has classified Lyrica under the pregnancy risk category C. This category is reserved for medications that may pose a risk to the developing fetus. Animal studies have shown some adverse reactions from fetuses being exposed to Lyrica in the womb, though there is not enough well-controlled human research available to deem the medication to be completely safe or unsafe.
If you are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant and have questions about the safety of using Lyrica during pregnancy, set up a meeting with your doctor to discuss your options. Lyrica is usually only recommended for pregnant patients if the benefits of the medication outweigh the risks. Your provider will be able to determine whether using Lyrica during pregnancy is right for your situation.
If you are already using Lyrica and you become pregnant, notify your doctor as soon as possible. Do not stop taking Lyrica once you know you are pregnant, as abruptly stopping your Lyrica treatment or adjusting your dosage in any way could have adverse health effects.
In one recent study, the rate of major birth defects increased in newborns who were exposed to Lyrica while in the womb. In addition, fewer pregnancies have been found to be carried to term when the fetus was exposed to Lyrica. These study results suggest that women who use Lyrica during the first trimester may be at higher risk of having a baby with birth abnormalities, though these findings need to be confirmed with other human studies.
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