Ibuprofen and Pregnancy

In many cases, pregnant women are instructed to avoid ibuprofen. In particular, the medication should not be taken at all during the third trimester, because it may damage the fetus or complicate labor and delivery. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies this product as a pregnancy Category C drug.

Is Ibuprofen Safe During Pregnancy?

Most healthcare providers do not recommend taking ibuprofen (brand names include Motrin®, Advil®, Genpril®, and Nuprin®) during pregnancy because it may affect the unborn child or complicate labor and delivery. Pregnant women should not take the drug at all during the third trimester. Early in the pregnancy, it is possible that your healthcare provider may recommend ibuprofen if he or she feels that the benefits to you outweigh the risks to your unborn child.

Pregnancy Category C

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a pregnancy category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus that may occur when women take specific medications during pregnancy. The FDA considers ibuprofen to be a pregnancy Category C medicine.
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 automatically are given a pregnancy Category C rating.
It is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines the same way that humans do. Therefore, a healthcare provider may recommend or prescribe a pregnancy Category C medicine for a pregnant woman if he or she believes that its benefits outweigh the possible risk to the unborn child.

Final Thoughts on Pregnancy and Ibuprofen

If you become pregnant (or are thinking of becoming pregnant) while taking ibuprofen, let your healthcare provider know. He or she will consider both the benefits and risks before making a recommendation for your particular situation.
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