Dantrium and Pregnancy
When given to pregnant animals, high doses of Dantrium (dantrolene) caused miscarriages. Due to the potential risks, this drug may not be the best choice if you are expecting. However, there may be cases where the benefits to the woman outweigh the risks to the fetus. A healthcare provider will take this into consideration before prescribing this drug during pregnancy.
Can Pregnant Women Use Dantrium?Dantrium® (dantrolene sodium) is a muscle relaxant available only by prescription. Unlike other muscle relaxers, Dantrium works directly on the muscles. Based on the results of animal studies, it may not be safe for pregnant women to use it.
What Is Pregnancy Category C?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. Dantrium is classified as a pregnancy Category C medication.
Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant humans but do appear to cause fetal harm in animal studies. In addition, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
There are reports of Dantrium being used in pregnant women just prior to delivery to prevent malignant hyperthermia (a rare, but potentially life-threatening reaction to general anesthetics). In these reports, no problems were observed in the fetuses or newborn babies. However, there is not enough information available to determine whether Dantrium is safe for use in later pregnancy. In addition, the use of the drug in the first or second trimesters of pregnancy has not been studied.
In animal studies, high doses of Dantrium (up to seven times the normal human dose) caused miscarriage when given to pregnant rats and rabbits.
However, it is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines in the same way that humans do. Therefore, a pregnancy Category C medicine may be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to her unborn child. For instance, because malignant hyperthermia is potentially life-threatening, a healthcare provider may recommend Dantrium in a pregnant woman to treat this condition.