Avonex and Pregnancy
Avonex may not be safe for pregnant women. In animal studies on Avonex and pregnancy, the medication increased the risk of miscarriages when it was given in high doses to pregnant monkeys. Due to this potential risk, be sure to notify your healthcare provider immediately if you are taking Avonex and pregnancy occurs.
An Overview of Avonex and Pregnancy
Avonex® (interferon beta-1a) is a prescription injection used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). Animal studies suggest that Avonex may cause problems when used during pregnancy.
Avonex and 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.
When given to pregnant monkeys, high doses of Avonex increased the risk of miscarriages. Avonex did not appear to increase the risk of birth defects. The drug has not been adequately studied in pregnant women.
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 pregnant women if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, let your healthcare provider know. He or she will consider both the benefits and risks of Avonex during pregnancy before making a recommendation for your particular situation.