Is Robaxin Safe to Take While Pregnant?
Is Robaxin safe to take while pregnant? Like so many other medications, both prescription and OTC, Robaxin may be okay to take when pregnant, but the risks can’t be completely ruled out. Robaxin is a brand-name drug, and the generic name is methocarbamol. Methocarbamol is prescribed to treat pain and stiff muscles related to sprains or injury. It’s classified as a centrally-acting skeletal muscle relaxant. Robaxin is well-suited to helping relieve pain and discomfort from short-term conditions related to the muscles or bones. It’s not a treatment for the underlying injury, however. Robaxin does affect the central nervous system of the user. When someone is prescribed Robaxin, they’re warned not to mix it with other substances or medications that affect the CNS. The use of another CNS depressant with Robaxin can heighten symptoms like dizziness, drowsiness and concentration problems.
Robaxin’s active ingredient, methocarbamol, is a category C pregnancy drug. The FDA has several categories into which medications are classified. These categories are based on how much research is currently available regarding safety during pregnancy. The research may include animal studies as well as observational studies done on human pregnant women. There aren’t often many well-controlled human studies that assess the safety of drugs during pregnancy, because these are considered dangerous and in many cases, unethical. This is why so many drugs including Robaxin fall into category C. Category C indicates a drug may have risks associated with its use during pregnancy. However, for some patients, the benefits of the drug as a treatment may outweigh the risks. A category A drug is one that’s considered the safest during pregnancy. Category B drugs are likely safe as well, although research may be more limited. Category D drugs are considered unsafe unless there’s a compelling reason the benefits of the medicine outweigh possible risks to the fetus. A category X drug is one that shouldn’t be used during pregnancy.
It’s unclear based on currently available research whether or not Robaxin is harmful to an unborn baby. Most doctors will err on the side of caution whenever possible with the use of medications during pregnancy, however. Currently, there are no reported animal studies that show Robaxin is harmful or safe during pregnancy. There are no controlled human studies either. The use of Robaxin during pregnancy isn’t recommended in most cases unless a physician says otherwise. The use of Robaxin may not be safe during lactation and breastfeeding either. While there isn’t a lot known about the potential harm to a fetus if Robaxin is used, there have been a few cases of withdrawal. If a fetus is exposed to certain substances in the womb, it can become dependent on them. Following delivery, the infant will then go through withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms in a newborn can include irritability, excessive crying and in severe cases, seizures.
If you’re already taking Robaxin and you find out you’re pregnant, don’t stop taking it until you speak with your healthcare provider. Sometimes, stopping a drug suddenly can be dangerous to a fetus as well. You may experience withdrawal symptoms which can raise the risk of a miscarriage. Your doctor may advise that you gradually lower your dosage of Robaxin, rather than stopping cold turkey. If you feel that you may have a problem with Robaxin, you can speak with your doctor about the possibility of a medically-assisted detox and an addiction treatment program.
Do you or someone you love have questions or concerns about a pregnancy and don’t know where to turn for help? Get support and answers at theAmerican Pregnancy Association at 1-800-672-2296.
If you’re not dependent on Robaxin, but you do have pain or an injury, alternatives may be available. For example, rather than taking Robaxin for back pain during pregnancy, your doctor might be able to recommend alternatives. Having good posture is helpful during pregnancy, as is wearing a maternity support belt. Finding a comfortable side sleeping position can help ease some of the pains that you may experience during pregnancy, as can hot or cold compresses, or prenatal massage. If you still have pain from an injury, your healthcare provider may be able to recommend a medication with more available information regarding its safety during pregnancy. For example, an over-the-counter pain medicine might be an option. Don’t start or stop any medication while pregnant without consulting your healthcare provider first.
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