THIS MEDICATION CAN CAUSE HARM TO YOUR BABY:
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 http://www.womenshealth.gov/ (800-994-9662 [TDD: 888-220-5446]) or check the following link: