Duexis and Pregnancy

Although the famotidine component in Duexis (ibuprofen/famotidine) is usually considered safe for use during pregnancy, the ibuprofen in this drug can cause problems in an unborn child. Because ibuprofen is an NSAID, it can cause serious problems during pregnancy, such as miscarriages and birth defects. It is usually recommended to avoid NSAIDs, including Duexis, during pregnancy (especially in the later stages of pregnancy).

Can Pregnant Women Take Duexis?

Duexis™ (ibuprofen/famotidine) is a prescription medication. It contains ibuprofen, which is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and famotidine, which is an acid-reducer medication. NSAIDs may present some risks to the fetus when taken during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown.

What Is Pregnancy Category C?

Duexis is classified as a pregnancy Category C drug. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a 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 adequately studied in pregnant humans but have caused fetal harm in animal studies.
In addition, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.

Duexis and Pregnancy Complications

Duexis was given a pregnancy Category C rating because it contains ibuprofen, which is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). The other active ingredient in Duexis (famotidine) is a pregnancy Category B medication when used alone, without the ibuprofen, and is usually considered to be quite safe to take during pregnancy.
The most serious effects of NSAID use occur near the end of pregnancy. For this reason, it is almost always recommended that pregnant women avoid taking NSAIDs, including Duexis, during the later part of pregnancy (from about 30 weeks on).
It should also be noted that women trying to become pregnant should avoid NSAIDs, as the medications appear to interfere with the implantation process.
The specific risks of NSAID use during pregnancy include:
  • Prolonged pregnancy, as NSAIDs inhibit the prostaglandins that help stimulate labor
  • Increased risk for miscarriage
  • Possible increased risk for birth defects, although this risk appears to be small
  • Poor kidney function in the fetus
  • Premature closure of the ductus arteriosus (a potentially fatal heart problem) in the fetus
  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension (a serious lung problem) in the newborn.
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Duexis Medication Information

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