Allergies Home > Qnasl and Pregnancy

When the active ingredient in Qnasl (beclomethasone nasal aerosol) was given to pregnant rabbits and mice, it increased the risk for miscarriages and birth defects. Due to these and other potential risks, this drug is classified as a pregnancy Category C medication. However, it may still be prescribed during pregnancy if the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn child.

Can Pregnant Women Use Qnasl?

Qnasl™ (beclomethasone nasal aerosol) is a prescription medication approved to treat nasal allergies. It belongs to a group of medications known as corticosteroids. Animal studies have shown that corticosteroids can increase the risk of problems, including birth defects.

What Is Pregnancy Category C?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is used during pregnancy. Qnasl is classified as a pregnancy Category C drug.
Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant humans but have caused fetal harm in animal studies. In addition, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
When given to pregnant mice and rabbits, beclomethasone (the active ingredient in Qnasl) increased the risk for birth defects and miscarriages. In these studies, beclomethasone was given as an injection just under the skin. It is currently thought that rodents may be more susceptible to birth defects from steroids than humans. Reassuringly, similar problems were not seen in rat studies.
It is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines in the same way that humans do. Therefore, a pregnancy Category C medicine, including Qnasl, may be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to her unborn child.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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