Colchicine and Pregnancy

Animal studies on colchicine and pregnancy indicate that this medication might cause miscarriages, birth defects, and genetic mutations. As a result, the FDA considers the drug a pregnancy Category C medication, meaning it may not be safe for women who are expecting. However, it may still be prescribed if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Can Pregnant Women Take Colchicine?

Colchicine is a prescription medication most commonly used to treat and prevent gout attacks, although it is used for a few other purposes as well. It is unclear whether this medication is safe for use during pregnancy.

What Is Pregnancy Category C?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a pregnancy category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been studied in pregnant humans, but do appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies.
Also, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating. Essentially, a pregnancy Category C rating is an intermediate rating most often used for medications for which there is no clear consensus about the safety of their use during pregnancy.
Animal studies suggest that colchicine might cause miscarriages, birth defects, and genetic mutations. However, the few cases of colchicine in pregnant humans do not suggest a significant risk for any problems. While theses cases are too few to draw any definite conclusions, they do provide some reassurance.
There has also been some concern that men who use colchicine may have offspring with chromosomal abnormalities (such as Down syndrome), although there is a lack of significant evidence to back up such concerns. However, colchicine does have the ability to lower sperm count, which should be considered for couples trying to conceive.
It is important to note that a pregnancy Category C medicine may be given to a pregnant woman if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child. There may be cases where the benefits of taking colchicine outweigh the potential risks.
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