When a woman is pregnant, anything that she puts in her body has the potential to affect her unborn child for good or bad. Thus, it is important for your doctor to know if you are pregnant when they prescribe a medication to you. Do not assume that they know this information if you have not personally provided it. You may also find out that you are pregnant while on a medication. In such a case you will need to inform your doctor to see which medications you can continue using and which must be stopped. What about prednisone? Is it safe to take prednisone while pregnant? Read on to learn more about prednisone and pregnancy.
Taking prednisone during pregnancy
Precautions are generally taken with every medication when a woman is pregnant, due to the vulnerability of the baby. While prednisone has not been given a classification by the FDA in regards to it being a pregnancy risk, the form of prednisone known as prednisolone is a category C meaning that risk has not been ruled out. Particularly during the first trimester, doctors will be reluctant to prescribe prednisone to a pregnant woman. Pregnancy must usually be in the later stage, and the drug must be necessary, before a doctor will prescribe it.
Premature birth and other possible effects
Studies have not linked any particular side effects to prednisone in pregnancy. It has been suggested that there is a slightly great risk of premature births for women who take prednisone while pregnant. Also, when women in their first trimester take the drug, there may be a risk of cleft pallet associated. Again, the degree of risk of these conditions have not been confirmed. Most observations were made in clinical trials on animals. Human studies have not been performed involving this particular drug and pregnancy.
It is simply a good rule of thumb for a pregnant woman to be cautious about taking any drug that is not vital during the pregnancy. Thus, if a woman suffers from a dangerous autoimmune condition, prednisone is more likely to be prescribed during pregnancy than if she simply has a bad case of poison ivy. The doctor will weight the risks against the benefits of the drug. Then the prescription may be written if there is no other alternative available. As always, be sure to take the drug as prescribed by the doctor in order to ensure the lowest potential for harmful side effects.