Famotidine During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

by on May 1, 2012


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has classified famotidine as a pregnancy Category B, which means that the medicine has not been studied in pregnant humans, but it also does not appear to cause adverse reactions to the fetus of animals in research studies.

However, it is also important for expectant mothers to know that the full risks of famotidine on pregnancy are not known, so this medication should only be used under the discretion of a health care provider if the benefits are thought to outweigh the potential risk to an unborn baby.

Can famotidine (Pepcid) be used by pregnant women?

Heartburn and nausea are much more common in pregnant women than in the general population. However, famotidine should not be used by pregnant women unless it has been prescribed to them by a physician. Although famotidine is considered relatively safe in animals, the full risks of using famotidine in pregnant women are not known.

There are a limited number of studies on the effect of famotidine on pregnant women. According to one of them the incidence of premature deliveries was slightly higher in women who have been exposed to famotidine while pregnant. However, there was no increase in the number of malformations. Other studies have also confirmed that the use of famotidine during pregnancy is not associated with increased risk of congenital malformations. But still there is not enough data in order to rule out any risk at all.

So if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, consult your healthcare provider before taking famotidine or any other drugs containing famotidine.

What are the possible side effects of famotidine for pregnant women?

Apart from posing some risk to the fetus, famotidine can also have adverse effects on women. Some of the most common adverse effects are diarrhea or constipation which can be serious problems during pregnancy. Allergic reactions are also possible.

Famotidine and breastfeeding

A little amount of famotidine is excreted in breast milk. Although famotidine appears relatively safe in breastfeeding women, there is still a potential risk of adverse effects on the infant so breastfeeding women should not use famotidine without consulting their healthcare provider. The manufacturers of famotidine do not recommend its usage by breastfeeding women.

Always consult your healthcare provider before taking famotidine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.