In animal studies of verapamil and pregnancy, the drug was shown to cause miscarriages and decreased fetal growth when given to pregnant rabbits. However, animals do not always respond to medicines in the same way that humans do, and a healthcare provider may still prescribe verapamil if the benefits outweigh the risks. If you are taking verapamil and pregnancy occurs, let your healthcare provider know.
An Overview of Verapamil and Pregnancy
For people who are pregnant, verapamil hydrochloride may not be safe. This is based on animal studies that looked at the effects of verapamil during pregnancy.
Verapamil 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.
Verapamil was given a pregnancy Category C rating because of potential problems in animal studies. When given to pregnant rabbits, verapamil increased the risk of miscarriages and decreased fetal growth.
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 pregnant women if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
Verapamil and Pregnancy: Summary
If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant while taking verapamil, let your healthcare provider know. Your healthcare provider will consider both the benefits and risks of taking verapamil during pregnancy before making a recommendation for your particular situation.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Calan [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer Inc.;2011 October.
Calan SR [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer, Inc.;2003 July.
Covera-HS [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer, Inc.;2006 May.
Isoptin SR [package insert]. Princeton, NJ: Ranbaxy Laboratories;2010 March.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click