Clonidine and Pregnancy
In animal studies, clonidine increased the risk of miscarriages when it was given to rats and mice before and during pregnancy. However, there is no evidence that the drug also causes problems in humans. If pregnancy occurs while you are taking clonidine, your healthcare provider will weigh the benefits and risks before making a recommendation for your situation.
Is Using Clonidine While Pregnant Safe?
Clonidine hydrochloride (Catapres®, Catapres-TTS®, Duraclon®, Kapvay™, Nexiclon® XR) is a prescription medication most often used to treat high blood pressure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (although the epidural form is approved to treat severe cancer pain). Based on the results of animal studies, the drug may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown.
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.
There is no evidence that this medication causes problems during pregnancy in humans. However, giving clonidine to rats and mice before and during pregnancy increased the risk of miscarriages.
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.