Lyrica During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

by on May 14, 2012

Lyrica (Pregabalin) is a commonly prescribed drug that is used to treat seizures, anxiety and fibromyalgia. It is considered safe for most people but there are concerns about women who are pregnant while taking Lyrica.

Lyrica is Category C

The FDA gives medications a category to help physicians and pregnant women determine which medications should be taken during pregnancy. Lyrcia (Pregabalin) has been classified as a category C. This means that though it has never been studied in humans, the tests done on pregnant animals have shown some harm to the fetus. Lyrica has been a part of animal studies and there have been some negative effects brought to light but there remains to be no studies of humans using Lyrica during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

What the Studies Have Shown

Lyrica was tested among pregnant rats. The results indicated that there is a risk of bone problems, including some within the skull. There was also an indication that Lyrica could cause low fetal weight, behavioral or brain problems in the offspring or infertility in the offspring. Studies also show that the chemicals present in Lyrica are found in the mother’s milk though there isn’t any indication of a negative effect on the offspring. These studies may present risks, but it is important to remember that animals may not respond to Lyrica in the same way the human body does.

Lyrica Use among Pregnant Women

Even though not many studies have been completed on Lyrica and pregnancy, it has been used by many women who are pregnant. Some women experienced no problem at all while others experienced ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is when the egg is planted outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes, abdomen or cervix. This can be a very dangerous condition for both mother and child if not diagnosed and monitored closely by a physician.

Lyrica Use during Breastfeeding

Lyrica is a relatively new medication and therefore, not much information is known about it and how it interacts with the human body. The studies performed on rats showed that Lyrica was present in the mother’s milk but there didn’t appear to be any negative effect. It is a category C medication so it may be taken while breastfeeding but there may be risks that have not been discovered yet. Any woman taking Lyrica while breastfeeding should be aware of the potential danger to her child.

If a patient is pregnant or breastfeeding while taking Lyrica, she should talk with her healthcare provider. The physician and the patient should talk about the possible risks to both mother and child and determine the best course of action. If the benefits outweigh the risks, the patient may chose to stay on Lyrica. Some women have chosen to decrease their dose of Lyrica while pregnant and had healthy babies. It is a personal decision between patient and doctor.

Lyrica during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been studied in depth. Thereforem Lyrica is classified as category C medication. Any pregnant or breastfeeding woman taking Lyrica should consult with her doctor to make a mutual decision about the health of the mother and child.