The information provided below is for readers based in the United States of America. Readers outside of the United States of America should seek the information from local sources.


There is limited evidence available on the safety of gabapentin during pregnancy. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of taking this medication during pregnancy.

What is gabapentin?

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant medication used alone or in combination with other medications to treat epilepsy.

What is gabapentin used to treat?

Gabapentin is a prescription medication used to treat epileptic partial seizures in adults and children and nerve pain associated with shingles in adults. It may also be used to treat nerve pain after surgery. Gabapentin is also used for multiple off-label indications such as restless leg syndrome, nerve pain or pain due to fibromyalgia. 

How does gabapentin work?

Gabapentin regulates the electrical activity and release of neurotransmitters in the brain to prevent seizures. 

If I am taking gabapentin, can it harm my baby?

Gabapentin does cross the human placenta to reach the developing baby. Gabapentin use during pregnancy has not been directly associated with birth defects; however, an increased risk of preterm birth or low birth weight and need for specialized intensive care have been reported in some studies. Animal studies have shown similar to or lower than normal human doses are associated with defects in bone growth, urinary defects, developmental delays, and death of the baby.

If I am taking gabapentin and become pregnant, what should I do?

Women who are attempting to conceive or become pregnant while on gabapentin should speak with their doctor. It is only recommended to continue gabapentin during pregnancy if the benefit to the mother outweighs the risk to the infant. 

If I am taking gabapentin, can I safely breastfeed my baby?

Gabapentin is expected to pass into breast milk. It is estimated that infants are exposed to 1.3% to 3.8% of the mother’s dose. It is important to consider the risks of continuing gabapentin during breastfeeding compared to the benefits of continuing the medication. Infants who are exposed to gabapentin through breast milk should be monitored for adverse events such as drowsiness, weight gain, and development.

If I am taking gabapentin, will it be more difficult to get pregnant?

A few small animal studies have suggested that gabapentin may affect female ovaries and sex steroid levels in the body. In males, the structure and count of sperm may be affected.

If I am taking gabapentin, what should I know?

Gabapentin should only be used during pregnancy if it is indicated and the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the developing baby. There may be an increased risk of negative effects if gabapentin is used during pregnancy, particularly in combination with other anticonvulsant medications. Mothers who continue breastfeeding while on gabapentin should monitor their baby for adverse effects.

If I am taking any medication, what should I know?

This report provides a summary of available information about the use of anticonvulsants during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Content is from the product label unless otherwise indicated.

You may find Pregistry's expert report about epilepsy here,  and reports about the individual medications used to treat seizure disorders here.   Additional information can also be found in the resources below. 

For more information about gabapentin during and after pregnancy, contact (800-994-9662 [TDD: 888-220-5446]) or check the following link:

Pfizer: Neurontin Prescribing Information

Read the whole report
General information

It is very common for women to worry about having a miscarriage or giving birth to a child with a birth defect while they are pregnant. Many decisions that women make about their health during pregnancy are made with these concerns in mind.

For many women these concerns are very real. As many as 1 in 5 pregnancies end in a miscarriage, and 1 in 33 babies are born with a birth defect. These rates are considered the background population risk, which means they do not take into consideration anything about the health of the mom, the medications she is taking, or the family history of the mom or the baby’s dad. A number of different things can increase these risks, including taking certain medications during pregnancy.

It is known that most medications, including over-the-counter medications, taken during pregnancy do get passed on to the baby. Fortunately, most medicines are not harmful to the baby and can be safely taken during pregnancy. But there are some that are known to be harmful to a baby’s normal development and growth, especially when they are taken during certain times of the pregnancy. Because of this, it is important to talk with your doctor or midwife about any medications you are taking, ideally before you even try to get pregnant.

If a doctor other than the one caring for your pregnancy recommends that you start a new medicine while you are pregnant, it is important that you let them know you are pregnant.

If you do need to take a new medication while pregnant, it is important to discuss the possible risks the medicine may pose on your pregnancy with your doctor or midwife. They can help you understand the benefits and the risks of taking the medicine.

Ultimately, the decision to start, stop, or change medications during pregnancy is up to you to make, along with input from your doctor or midwife. If you do take medications during pregnancy, be sure to keep track of all the medications you are taking.