Can You Take Reprexain While Pregnant?

Reprexain is a brand-name, prescription combination drug. Reprexain contains a combination of the opioid narcotic hydrocodone and the over-the-counter NSAID ibuprofen. When someone takes Reprexain, it combats pain in two different ways. Opioids like hydrocodone affect the central nervous system and change how pain signals are sent. Opioids also alter the emotional response to pain. Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs work to reduce something called prostaglandins throughout the body. Prostaglandins produce inflammation, pain and also fever. Reprexain is intended to be a short-term pain medication, used no more than ten days. It can be used to treat moderate to severe pain. Reprexain is taken on an as-needed basis, and it shouldn’t be used for the treatment of long-term pain conditions.

As with other opioids, hydrocodone has risks associated with its use. First, hydrocodone and other opioids depress the central nervous system. In doing so, they can slow breathing. If someone takes too much of a single opioid or combines multiple central nervous system depressants, they may overdose and stop breathing. Opioids are linked to high occurrences of addiction and dependence as well. Opioids like hydrocodone can cause euphoria, triggering a reward and addiction response. Physical dependence occurs when the body depends on the presence of an opioid. When that opioid is removed, withdrawal symptoms can occur. Using Reprexain only as prescribed, including for no more than ten days, can lower the risk of addiction and dependence.

Can you take Reprexain while pregnant? The answer is no, Reprexain is not considered safe during pregnancy. Opioids like hydrocodone are category C pregnancy drugs. This categorization indicates the FDA sees them as potentially unsafe, although there’s limited research. Category C drugs are only intended to be used by pregnant women if the benefits outweigh the risks. NSAIDs like ibuprofen should never be used during pregnancy. Both the hydrocodone and the ibuprofen in Reprexain can have serious and dangerous effects during pregnancy.

Effects of Reprexain on a Fetus

To understand the possible effects of Reprexain on a fetus, it’s important to look at both active ingredients in this combination drug. First, there’s hydrocodone. Opioids can be unsafe during pregnancy. There is evidence they are linked to an increased risk of certain birth defects. According to the CDC, when a woman uses opioids during pregnancy, her baby is more likely to develop Spina Bifida. Spina Bifida is a serious birth defect that affects the brain and spinal cord. Spinal Bifida occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t properly form, and it’s classified as a neural tube defect. Spina Bifida can range from mild to severe, and it may require various treatments including surgery. The most severe form of Spina Bifida is called myelomeningocele. The CDC also advises that an increased risk of hydrocephaly or a buildup of fluid in the brain can occur with opioid exposure. Other birth defects linked to neonatal opioid exposure include glaucoma and congenital heart defects. Of course, using Reprexain during pregnancy doesn’t mean these are definitely going to occur. It just means the risk is slightly higher.

NSAIDs like ibuprofen should not ever be used during pregnancy. When NSAIDs are used during the first trimester, it increases the risk of congenital abnormalities. One research study that looked at more than 36,000 pregnant women found that women who filled NSAID prescriptions early in their pregnancy had more than double the risk for any birth defect. Many of the defects were related to the cardiac system, such as issues with cardiac septal closure. Using NSAIDs at the end of pregnancy is associated with a greater risk of premature closing of the ductus arteriosus. The use of NSAIDs near labor and delivery can also cause complications such as increased bleeding.

Babies Born Addicted to Reprexain

Babies exposed to opioids in the womb can become dependent on them. This includes hydrocodone, which is in Reprexain. If a baby is born dependent on opioids, they will go through withdrawal after delivery. This is called neonatal abstinence syndrome. Neonatal abstinence syndrome or NAS is something that can cause symptoms ranging widely from mild to severe. Symptoms of NAS related to opioids can include disturbances to sleep and problems feeding as well as resulting issues with weight gain. Other NAS symptoms in newborns may include irritability, excessive crying, tremors, muscle rigidity, vomiting and diarrhea. Most babies with NAS symptoms will have to be treated in the NICU.

Alternatives to Taking Reprexain While Pregnant

If a woman has a condition requiring pain medicine, her doctor will go over the options available to her and let her know the safest choices during pregnancy. It’s highly unlikely Reprexain would be suggested for use during pregnancy. Reprexain contains hydrocodone and ibuprofen, both of which aren’t advisable for use during pregnancy. If you struggle with opioid dependence, don’t stop taking Reprexain without first consulting your healthcare provider. You may experience withdrawal symptoms, and opioid withdrawal during pregnancy can create complications. It can be best to either follow the instructions of a doctor before stopping an opioid or to participate in a medically-assisted detox program.

To learn more about medically-assisted detox, and how to stop using opioids safely and effectively, call The Recovery Village.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.