Advair During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

by on July 22, 2012

It is estimated that around 22 million Americans suffer from asthma. In general, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant asthmatic women should continue taking their asthma medications at lowest effective dose. However, some medicines should not be used during pregnancy because of the possible risks to the unborn child and the outcome of pregnancy.

Can Pregnant Women Take Advair?

Advair (Fluticasone, Salmeterol) may not be safe for pregnant women. Animal studies suggest that Advair can cause birth defects and can increase the risk of miscarriages. The manufacturer recommends that this medication be used during pregnancy only when there is a clear need and the perceived benefits outweigh the risks.

FDA Pregnancy Category

The FDA classifies Advair as a Pregnancy Category C medication because of the possible risk to the unborn child as suggested by animal studies. When Advair was administered to pregnant mice, it was shown to cause birth defects that include bone malformations and cleft palate. It has also increased the chances of miscarriage.

Take note, however, that animal studies do not always reflect how humans respond to a certain medication. Therefore, medications under pregnancy Category C may still be prescribed to pregnant women if the perceived benefits justify the potential risks. Since some asthma patients require long-term, continuous treatment, healthcare providers may recommend continuing medication during pregnancy.

If you become pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking Advair, be sure to consult your healthcare provider. Before making any recommendation, your doctor will evaluate your condition and consider the benefits and risks of taking this medication.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Advair?

It is not known if Advair is excreted into the human milk. However, because of the potential adverse effects of Advair on the breastfed child, its manufacturer does not recommend using it in breastfeeding women. If you are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed, let your physician know before starting to take this medication.

There are no adequate, well controlled studies done to evaluate whether Advair is passed into the breast milk of humans. It is suggested that since the usual recommended dose of Advair cause low drug levels in the blood, the amount that is likely passed into the breast milk is negligible enough to cause adverse effects on the nursing infant. Therefore, it is thought that this medication may be safe for breastfeeding women. If you are breastfeeding and your healthcare provider recommends taking Advair, be sure to monitor for any changes in your child.

Before starting this medication, consult your healthcare provider about Advair use while breastfeeding. Each patient undergoes a different situation and your healthcare provider can give you appropriate recommendations. Your healthcare provider considers the benefits and risks of taking Advair while breastfeeding before giving any recommendation.