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The FDA has classified Cambia as a pregnancy Category C medication, meaning that the drug may not be safe to take during pregnancy. Animal studies on pregnancy and Cambia have not shown that the medication will pose any significant risks. However, NSAIDs (such as this one) may increase the risk of several pregnancy problems, such as miscarriages and birth defects.

Is Cambia Safe During Pregnancy?

Cambia™ (diclofenac potassium) is a prescription migraine medication. It may present some risks to the fetus when taken during pregnancy, although Cambia's full risks are currently unknown.
 

Pregnancy Category C

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a pregnancy 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 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.
 
In general, animal studies have failed to show significant risks associated with the use of diclofenac (the active ingredient in Cambia), although one study suggested that there may be a link between diclofenac and cleft palate in mice. This drug has not been studied in pregnant women.
 

NSAIDs and Pregnancy Complications

Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Studies have demonstrated that NSAIDs (including diclofenac) can cause certain problems during pregnancy in humans, including:
 
  • Increased risk of miscarriage
  • Possible increased risk of birth defects (although this risk appears to be small)
  • Prolonged pregnancy (as NSAIDs inhibit the prostaglandins that help stimulate labor)
  • 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.
     
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 Cambia) during that later part of pregnancy (between about week 30 and delivery).
 
It should also be noted that women trying to become pregnant should avoid NSAIDs, as they appear to interfere with the implantation process.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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