Because Allegra is considered a pregnancy Category C medicine, many people have questions about Allegra and pregnancy. The pregnancy Category C designation means that Allegra was tested on animals, but no studies were performed on pregnant women. Allegra can be prescribed during pregnancy if the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh the risks to the unborn child.
Is Allegra Safe During Pregnancy?
Allegra® (fexofenadine hydrochloride) is considered a pregnancy Category C medicine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that Allegra has not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies on pregnant animals imply that Allegra could potentially cause harm to an unborn child.
During testing with animals, Allegra did not show any potential for birth defects. However, with doses three times the recommended amounts, Allegra did cause a slowing in fetal weight gain and survival. It is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines in the same way that humans do.
Allegra 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 create side effects in the fetus in animal studies, but no human studies in pregnant women have been done. A pregnancy Category C medicine may still be prescribed for pregnant women if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh the possible risks to the unborn child.
If you are pregnant or may become pregnant while taking Allegra, let your healthcare provider know. Your healthcare provider will consider both the benefits and risks of Allegra during pregnancy before making a recommendation for your particular situation. It is possible he or she may recommend a lower dose of Allegra or a switch to an allergy medicine that is a pregnancy Category B medicine.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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