Zyprexa During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

by on July 1, 2012

Can Pregnant Women Take Zyprexa?

Pregnant women are advised not to take Zyprexa. There are inadequate studies to evaluate the effects Zyprexa (Olanzapine) on pregnant women. Furthermore, previous animal studies suggest that Zyprexa can increase the risk of miscarriage.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies Zyprexa as pregnancy Category C medication which means that it can possibly cause harm on the unborn child if taken during pregnancy. Basically, medications that fall under Category C have not been fully studied in pregnant humans but animal studies show that they can possibly cause harm to the fetus. Also, medications that have not been studied in either humans or animals are also given this pregnancy classification.

In one animal study conducted on pregnant rats and rabbits, Zyprexa has shown to increase the chances of miscarriages and to giving birth to a low birth weight infant, although Zyprexa has not shown an increase in birth defects.

Take note, however, that animal studies do not always predict how humans will respond to a certain medication. Therefore, medications classified as Pregnancy Category C can actually be prescribed to pregnant only if the perceived benefits outweigh the risks.

If you become pregnant while taking Zyprexa, consult your healthcare provider immediately. Your healthcare provider should consider the benefits and risks of taking Zyprexa before making any recommendation.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Zyprexa?

Zyprexa is excreted into the human milk. Because of the possible serious side effects on the breastfed child, this medication is not recommended for breastfeeding women. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed and have been prescribed Zyprexa, be sure to inform your healthcare provider.

In some reported cases, infants exposed to Zyprexa through their mother’s breast milk have shown side effects that include drowsiness, heart murmurs, and yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes (jaundice). If you have been prescribed with Zyprexa while breastfeeding, watch out for any of these possible side effects. Also, be sure to report any changes in your child.

You should consult your healthcare provider about taking Zyprexa while breastfeeding. Every patient experiences a different situation, and your healthcare provider is in the best position to give you recommendation. Discuss with your healthcare provider the perceived risks to the child as well as the benefits for your health. This way you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision.