Lyrica medication during pregnancy
Lyrica is a very useful drug to take if you are suffering from seizures, or pain from nerve damage or fibromyalgia. It's effective and so long as it is taken correctly, has a lower chance for addiction and other problems than many other medications that do the same thing. However, like many drugs, women are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant have to take a hard look at whether Lyrica will be right for them or safe for the fetus.
Lyrica is a Class C drug as labeled by the FDA. This means that the effects it has on a pregnant woman and the fetus are largely unknown and therefore may not be worth the risk. On animal tests done with pregnant rats, there were higher cases of miscarriages while the rats were treated with Lyrica. Other animals had problems with their newborns having low fetal weight and bone defects; however, whether this transfers over to humans is unknown. Since no one is likely to want to test this out enough times to be viable, the drug is given a Class C rating which means that you might be prescribed Lyrica, but only in controlled dosages and only if the benefits outweigh the risks. This is because it is unknown what effect Lyrica has on a human fetus, if any, and whatever the mother is suffering from to require the drug may do more harm to the fetus than the drug would.
A pregnant woman on Lyrica will also have to have regular bloodwork to check on the levels of the drug in the bloodstream. This is because up to 35% of pregnant woman have more seizures while pregnant (due to hormonal changes in the body) and will need to have their dosages of Lyrica adjusted accordingly in order to minimize the chances of having a seizure. A woman who is both pregnant and on Lyrica may want to do regular work to check on the state of their fetus anyway, just to be sure that the baby is growing fine. Finally, a pregnant woman should take regular dosages of folic acid in a prenatal vitamin in order to prevent birth defects. This will help mitigate some of the risk from taking Lyrica as well.
If you are taking Lyrica and you are thinking of becoming pregnant, then you should discuss your treatment options with your doctor and whether Lyrica is still appropriate for you and whether you will have to change your dosages. You should also consider what you will do after the baby is born. It is unknown whether Lyrica passes through breastmilk and into the baby, but it is likely to pass through since most medications do. You may want to take the opportunity of pregnancy as a chance to look at alternative medications for your seizures or pains or at least change your dosages.
Lyrica is a Class C drug and as such, it is unknown precisely what effects it will have on the developing fetus. What has been found is that women taking Lyrica and are pregnant suffer from more miscarriages than woman who are not taking this medication, but other effects are as yet unknown. It is also unknown whether this drug passes through breastmilk and if it does, what effect it has on the baby. For all of these reasons, many women may wish to find an alternative medicine to Lyrica for the duration of their pregnancy or at least take steps to mitigate what damage could be done such as taking more folic acid. Always talk to your doctor about your options when weighing the health of your fetus against your own health and for both your sakes, do not change the dosing instructions which your doctor have given you in relation to this drug. In this way, you can do all you can to ensure the health of both you and your baby.