Actos During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

by on July 27, 2012

Diabetes is a chronic condition that can affect women even during pregnancy. However, some pregnant women may be concerned about the possible side effects of antidiabetic medications, including Actos (pioglitazone) on their child, the outcome of pregnancy and when breastfeeding.

Can Pregnant Women Take Actos?

Actos (pioglitazone) may not be safe for use during pregnancy. Animal studies that evaluated the effects of Actos suggest that this medication can negatively impact the outcome of pregnancy.

FDA Pregnancy Category

The Food and Drug Administration classifies Actos as a Pregnancy Category C medication. Actos has not been extensively studied on pregnant women. However, animal studies conducted on pregnant rat and rabbits reveal that this medication increases the risk of miscarriages, slow fetal development, low infant birth weight, and delayed delivery. Birth defects were not noted in the offspring of animal samples.

Although animal studies suggest that this medication can cause harm, it is important to note that these studies do not always reflect how humans will respond to a certain medication. Therefore, this medication may be prescribed during pregnancy if the perceived benefits justify the potential risks.

Talk with your doctor

Healthcare providers should carefully evaluate the condition of the patient and consider the benefits of using this medication during pregnancy. High blood sugar levels during pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects, as well as the mortality and morbidity of the infant. Most health experts recommend the use of insulin in managing blood sugar levels during pregnancy. If the patient requires combination of drugs to effectively control diabetes or blood glucose levels, the healthcare provider should consider the risks and benefits of antidiabetic drugs on pregnant women.

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, be sure to consult your healthcare provider about use of Actos. Do not stop taking this medication unless specifically instructed by your healthcare provider.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Actos?

It is not clear whether Actos is excreted in human milk. However, animal studies conducted on lactating rats suggest that small amounts of pioglitazone are secreted in the breast milk. Because of the potential risks of Actos on the newborn infant, the manufacturer of this medication recommends that healthcare providers carefully consider the risks and benefits of using Actos while breastfeeding before making any recommendations.

Healthcare providers should take into account the importance of this medication in the effective control of diabetes or blood sugar level of the mother. If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about use of this drug.