Heart Disease Home > Minitran and Pregnancy

In studies of pregnant animals, the active ingredient in Minitran (nitroglycerin patch) did not appear to increase the risk of problems. However, animals do not always respond to medications in the same way that humans do. More human research is needed before it can be said with certainty that this drug is safe for use during pregnancy.

Is Minitran Safe During Pregnancy?

Minitran™ (nitroglycerin patch) is a prescription skin patch approved for the prevention of chest pain (angina). Based on information currently available, it is unknown if the drug is safe for use during pregnancy. Animal studies do not suggest a significant risk. However, there is very little experience with the use of Minitran in pregnant humans.

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 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.
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 rabbits, nitroglycerin (the active ingredient in Minitran) did not cause any problems for the mothers or babies. However, it cannot just be assumed that the same is true for humans.
Animals do not always respond to medicines the same way that humans do. Therefore, a pregnancy Category C medicine (including Minitran) should be given to a pregnant woman only if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
Nitroglycerin, in various forms, has been used to control high blood pressure during pregnancy. It has also been used to help stop preterm labor by relaxing the uterus. It is unknown if Minitran would be safe or effective for these uses.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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