Are Triptans Safe During Pregnancy? -- An Overview
For women who are pregnant, triptans
may not be safe. This is based on animal studies that looked at the effects of triptans during pregnancy.
Triptans and 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.
Triptans have been given a pregnancy Category C rating based on animal studies. When triptans were given to pregnant animals, problems occurred in the unborn fetuses and newborn animals.
It is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines the same way that humans do. Therefore, a pregnancy Category C medicine may be given to a pregnant woman if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
Recommendations for Using Triptans During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, let your healthcare provider know. He or she will consider both the benefits and risks of triptans during pregnancy before making a recommendation for your particular situation.