Cancer Home > Folotyn and Pregnancy
Women who are receiving chemotherapy treatment with Folotyn (pralatrexate) should use effective methods of contraception to avoid getting pregnant while using this medicine. As a pregnancy Category D drug, Folotyn can harm an unborn child. However, there may be cases where the benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the fetus.
Can Pregnant Women Receive Folotyn?Folotyn® (pralatrexate) is a prescription medication used in the treatment of a type of blood cancer known as peripheral T-cell lymphoma. It is considered a pregnancy Category D medication because it can harm an unborn child if used during pregnancy.
What Is Pregnancy Category D?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. Pregnancy Category D is given to medicines that have been shown to present a risk to the fetus in studies of pregnant women but may still offer benefits that outweigh the risks the drug presents. A pregnancy Category D medicine may still be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh the possible risks to her unborn child.
Although Folotyn has not been studied adequately in pregnant women, animal studies of the drug have shown it can cause miscarriage when given to pregnant rats and rabbits. Also, Folotyn interferes with the production of folic acid and can cause folic acid deficiency. This could potentially cause severe birth defects in a developing fetus.
In general, this medicine should not be used in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary, which may be the case if safer treatment options do not exist. Women who receive Folotyn should use an effective form of birth control to avoid becoming pregnant. Talk to your healthcare provider about the most effective methods for preventing pregnancy during treatment.