Vimovo and Pregnancy

Pregnancy Complications With Vimovo

Vimovo was given a pregnancy Category C or D rating because it contains naproxen, which is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). The other active ingredient in Vimovo (esomeprazole) is a pregnancy Category B medication (when used alone, without the naproxen) and is, therefore, generally considered to be quite safe. In animal studies, however, esomeprazole magnesium appears to cause harm to offspring.
When esomeprazole magnesium was given to pregnant rats at high doses, fewer offspring survived after birth. The surviving pups had developmental delays, abnormal bone growth, and failed to gain weight.
Pregnant and nursing rats that were given high doses of esomeprazole magnesium lost bone mass, which is consistent with the possible effects of the drug on calcium absorption (it can decrease calcium absorption).
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 Vimovo) during that later part of pregnancy (from about 30 weeks on).
It should also be noted that women trying to become pregnant should avoid NSAIDs, as they appear to interfere with the implantation process.
The specific risks of NSAID use during pregnancy include:
  • Prolonged pregnancy (since NSAIDs inhibit the prostaglandins that help stimulate labor)
  • Increased risk for miscarriages
  • 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 very serious lung problem) in the newborn.

Final Thoughts

If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant while taking Vimovo, let your healthcare provider know. He or she will consider both the benefits and risks before making a recommendation in your particular situation.
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