The results of animal studies have caused Celebrex to be given a pregnancy Category C or D rating, depending on the stage of pregnancy. This means that the drug can present a risk to the health of the unborn child. However, a healthcare provider may still prescribe Celebrex during pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Is Celebrex Safe During Pregnancy?
Most healthcare providers do not recommend taking Celebrex® (celecoxib) during pregnancy because it can cause problems for the unborn child or complicate the delivery. Taking the drug at all during the third trimester should be avoided. Early in the pregnancy, it is possible that your healthcare provider may recommend Celebrex if he or she feels that the benefits to you outweigh the risks to your unborn child.
Understanding Pregnancy Category C or D
Celebrex is considered a pregnancy Category C or D medicine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), depending on the stage of pregnancy (Category C for the first 29 weeks of pregnancy, Category D for 30 weeks and beyond).
The 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 that 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. Pregnancy Category D is a classification given to medicines that have been shown to present a risk to the fetus in studies of pregnant women, but may still offer benefits that outweigh the risks the drug presents.
In animal studies, Celebrex increased the risk of various problems, such as miscarriages and heart defects. In humans, using NSAIDS such as Celebrex near the end of pregnancy has been associated with premature closure of the ductus arteriosus (a potentially lethal condition) in the fetus. Prolonged pregnancy and slow labor has also occurred.
In addition, women trying to conceive should not take Celebrex or other NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), as they may interfere with implantation of the embryo.
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