Naproxen and Pregnancy

There are a number of possible side effects and complications associated with naproxen, and pregnancy problems are a potential risk. Naproxen is considered a pregnancy Category C medicine, which means that although it has not been studied extensively in humans, it showed negative effects to the fetus in animal studies.

Can Pregnant Women Take Naproxen?

Most healthcare providers do not recommend taking naproxen during pregnancy (brand names include Aleve®, Naprosyn®, EC-Naprosyn®, Anaprox®, Anaprox® DS, and Naprelan®). The medication can possibly cause problems in the unborn child or complicate labor and delivery. Taking naproxen at all during the third trimester should be avoided. Early in the pregnancy, your healthcare provider may recommend naproxen if he or she feels that the benefits to you outweigh the risks to your unborn child.

Naproxen and Pregnancy Category C

Naproxen is considered a pregnancy Category C medicine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 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 studied in pregnant humans but that show side effects to the fetus in animal studies. It is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines the same way that humans do. As mentioned, a pregnancy Category C medicine may still be given to a pregnant woman if the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh the possible risks to the unborn child.
If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant while taking naproxen, let your healthcare provider know. He or she will consider the benefits and risks of taking naproxen during pregnancy before making a recommendation in your particular situation.
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