Chlorpheniramine and Pregnancy
Although adequate studies have not been conducted on pregnancy and chlorpheniramine, survey-type studies have shown that antihistamines are not associated with birth defects. However, using antihistamines in late pregnancy may increase the risk of retinopathy of prematurity. If you become pregnant while taking this drug, your healthcare provider will weigh the benefits and risks before making a recommendation.
Is Chlorpheniramine Safe During Pregnancy?
Chlorpheniramine (an active ingredient in Chlor-Trimeton®, Tussionex®, and many other medications) is an antihistamine often used for treating allergies or the common cold. Although the full risks to the fetus are not currently known, this medication is generally considered safe for use during pregnancy.
Chlorpheniramine and Pregnancy Category B
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 B is given to medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant humans but that do not appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies. Medications that have been shown to be safe for use in pregnancy in humans but have caused problems in laboratory animals are also given a Category B rating.
Survey-type studies of antihistamine use in pregnant women do not suggest that antihistamines such as chlorpheniramine are associated with birth defects. However, the use of antihistamines during the last two weeks of pregnancy seems to increase the risk of retinopathy of prematurity (an eye problem in premature infants that can lead to blindness).
If you are pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant, let your healthcare provider know. He or she will consider the benefits and risks of taking chlorpheniramine during pregnancy before making a recommendation in your particular situation. If you are pregnant, do not take this drug without first discussing it with your healthcare provider.