In animal studies that looked at Zyprexa and pregnancy, Zyprexa increased the risk of miscarriages and low birth weight. However, animals do not always respond to medicines the same way that humans do. Zyprexa has been classified as a pregnancy Category C drug, which means that a doctor may prescribe it during pregnancy if the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh any possible risks to the fetus.
Is Zyprexa Safe During Pregnancy?
Zyprexa® (olanzapine) may not be safe for women who are pregnant. In previous animal studies that looked at the effects of Zyprexa during pregnancy, Zyprexa increased the chance of miscarriage.
Zyprexa 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 rats and rabbits, Zyprexa increased the risk of miscarriages and low birth weight. Zyprexa did not cause any birth defects.
However, it is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines 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 Zyprexa and Pregnancy
If you are taking Zyprexa and pregnancy occurs (or you are thinking of becoming pregnant), let your healthcare provider know. Your healthcare provider will consider both the benefits and risks of Zyprexa 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):
Zyprexa Relprevv [package insert]. Indianapolis, IN: Eli Lilly and Company;2009 December.
Zyprexa [package insert]. Indianapolis, IN: Lilly USA, LLC;2013 July.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
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