In animal studies that looked at Risperdal and pregnancy, the medication increased the risk of stillbirths, newborn deaths, and low birth weight. Therefore, the FDA has classified Risperdal as a pregnancy Category C drug, meaning that it may not be safe for women who are pregnant. However, a doctor may still prescribe Risperdal during pregnancy if the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh any possible risks to the fetus.
Is Risperdal Safe During Pregnancy?
Risperdal® (risperidone) may not be safe for women who are pregnant. In previous animal studies that looked at the effects of Risperdal during pregnancy, Risperdal increased the chance of miscarriage and other problems.
Risperdal 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.
When given to pregnant rabbits and rats, Risperdal increased the risk of stillbirths and newborn deaths. Risperdal also increased the chance of low birth weight.
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.
Recommendations for Risperdal and Pregnancy
If you are taking Risperdal and pregnancy occurs (or if you are thinking of becoming pregnant), let your healthcare provider know. Your healthcare provider will consider both the benefits and risks of taking Risperdal during pregnancy before making a recommendation for your particular situation.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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