Pristiq and Pregnancy

In clinical studies on Pristiq and pregnancy, the medication increased the risk of low fetal weight when it was given to pregnant animals. More importantly, babies exposed to drugs similar to Pristiq during the third trimester of pregnancy experienced tremors, difficulty breathing, and seizures. If you are taking Pristiq and pregnancy occurs, notify your healthcare provider right away.

Pristiq and Pregnancy: An Overview

Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine succinate) may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known. There are special concerns about using the drug during the third trimester of pregnancy.

Pristiq and 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 that show side effects to the fetus in animal studies. A pregnancy Category C medicine may still be given to pregnant women if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh the possible risks to the unborn child.
In animal studies, Pristiq increased the risk of low fetal weight but did not increase the risk of birth defects or miscarriages.

Pristiq and Pregnancy: Third Trimester Concerns

Pristiq is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) There have been reports of fetuses developing complications that require hospitalization, respiratory support, and/or tube feeding when exposed to other SNRIs and SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) during the third trimester of pregnancy. These newborns experienced a number of symptoms, including:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Lack of oxygen in the blood
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Tremors
  • Irritability
  • Constant crying.
It is presumed that Pristiq will also have these problems, although this has not yet been shown to be true. Also, babies who are exposed to SNRIs or SSRIs late in the pregnancy are at an increased risk for developing persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). PPHN is associated with significant complications and even death.
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Pristiq Drug Information

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