Celebrex During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

by on May 8, 2012

Can Pregnant Women Take Celebrex?

Both the manufacturers and healthcare providers do not recommend using Celebrex during pregnancy. This drug can cause harm on the unborn child as well as complications in pregnancy and delivery.  The FDA classifies Celebrex as a Pregnancy Category C medication during the first 29 weeks of pregnancy and Category D starting 30 weeks of pregnancy.

Pregnancy Category C rating means that this medication has not been fully studied in pregnant humans but animal studies suggest that it can cause harm on the fetus. Since humans do not always react to drugs in the same way as animals do, it is possible for your healthcare provider to prescribe this medication during the first and second trimester of pregnancy if he or she believes that the benefits outweigh the potential risks or if there are no other treatment options available.

Pregnancy Category D rating means that this drug poses risk on the unborn child as proven by studies conducted on pregnant women, but may still offer benefits that outweigh potential risks of the drug. Because of the increased risk for miscarriages and heart defects, Celebrex must be avoided during the third trimester of pregnancy.

Specifically, use of NSAIDs during the last months of pregnancy has been associated with a potentially fatal heart condition called premature closure of ductus arteriousus. It also increases the risk for slow labor and prolonged pregnancy.

Furthermore, women who are trying to conceive must avoid NSAIDs, including Celebrex, as these drugs can interfere with the implantation of the embryo.

Before you start taking Celebrex, discuss with your healthcare provider any plans of getting pregnant in the future. If you become pregnant while taking Celebrex, contact your healthcare provider right away. He or she will evaluate the potential effects of the medication on the unborn child. Depending on the medical condition you are being treated for, your healthcare provider may change or discontinue Celebrex.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Celebrex?

Limited data suggest that low amounts of Celebrex are excreted into the breast milk. There are contrasting opinions with regards to the safety of Celebrex for breastfeeding women. Some sources consider it safe since similar drugs are compatible with nursing, while other sources caution its use while breastfeeding because of the limited information regarding the effects of Celebrex on the nursing infant. Meanwhile, the manufacturer recommends that the potential serious side effects on the infant be considered when considering the use of Celebrex on pregnant women.

Discuss with your healthcare provider whether you’ll continue or discontinue taking this drug. If your healthcare provider decides that continuing this drug is more beneficial, be sure to monitor for potential adverse effects on the child such as stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness and headache. If your child exhibits irritability or restlessness, contact your healthcare provider right away.