Neupro and Pregnancy
It is unknown whether it is safe to use Neupro (rotigotine) during pregnancy. In animal studies, this pregnancy Category C medication caused delayed skeletal hardening, reduced fetal weights, and fetal deaths. Although it is unknown whether it may cause problems in pregnant women, this drug should only be given during pregnancy when the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the fetus.
Can Pregnant Women Use Neupro?Neupro® (rotigotine) is a prescription medication approved to treat Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome (RLS). Based on the results of animal studies, this drug may not be safe for use during pregnancy.
What Is 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. Neupro is classified as a pregnancy Category C medication.
Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been studied in pregnant humans but do appear to cause fetal harm in animal studies. Also, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
In animal studies, giving rotigotine (the active ingredient in Neupro) to pregnant mice caused delayed skeletal hardening, decreased fetal body weight, and increased embryonic and fetal death. When given to pregnant rats and rabbits, rotigotine increased the risk of embryonic and fetal death. Some of these problems occurred even at relatively low doses (less than the equivalent dose that would be used in humans) and are thought to be due to the drug's effects on prolactin, a hormone important for pregnancy and lactation. Neupro has not been studied in any pregnant women.
It is important to note, however, that animals do not always respond to medicines in the same way that humans do. Therefore, a pregnancy Category C medicine, including Neupro, may be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to her unborn child.