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Felodipine and Pregnancy

In animal studies involving felodipine (Plendil) and pregnancy, the medication increased the risk of birth defects of the fingers or toes. As a result, the FDA has classified felodipine as a pregnancy Category C medication, meaning it may not be safe to take when pregnant. If you are taking felodipine and pregnancy occurs, your healthcare provider will weigh the benefits and risks before making a recommendation for your situation.

An Overview of Felodipine and Pregnancy

For people who are pregnant, felodipine (Plendil®) may not be safe. This is based on animal studies that looked at the effects of felodipine during pregnancy.

Felodipine 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.
Felodipine was given a pregnancy Category C rating because of potential problems in animal studies. When given to pregnant rabbits and monkeys, felodipine caused birth defects of the fingers or toes. Felodipine has not been adequately studied in pregnant women.
However, 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 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.

Felodipine and Pregnancy: Final Thoughts

If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant while taking felodipine, let your healthcare provider know. Your healthcare provider will consider both the benefits and risks of using felodipine during pregnancy before making a recommendation for your particular situation.
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