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In clinical studies on Procrit and pregnancy, the medicine increased the risk of low birth weight, missing vertebrae, and delayed development when it was given to pregnant rats. However, animals do not always respond to medications the same way that humans do. Therefore, so healthcare providers can prescribe Procrit to a pregnant woman if the benefits outweigh the risks to the unborn child.
Procrit® (epoetin alfa) is a medication used to treat anemia caused by various factors. In studies, giving Procrit to pregnant animals increased the risk certain problems.
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 C is given to medicines that have not been studied in pregnant humans but that 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.
Procrit was given a pregnancy Category C classification because of problems in animal studies. When given to pregnant rats, the drug increased low birth weight, delayed development, and missing vertebrae (spinal bones).
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 woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
If you are pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant while taking Procrit, let your healthcare provider know. He or she will consider the benefits and risks of using the medication during pregnancy before making a recommendation in your particular situation.