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Vincasar PFS and Pregnancy

Vincasar PFS (vincristine) may not be safe for use during pregnancy. Although the drug has not been adequately studied in pregnant women, animal studies have shown that it causes miscarriages, birth defects, and other complications when given to pregnant mice, hamsters, and monkeys. It is generally recommended that women use an effective form of birth control during treatment.

 

Can Pregnant Women Use Vincasar PFS?

Vincasar PFS® (vincristine sulfate) is a prescription chemotherapy medication used to treat adults and children with certain types of cancer. It is a pregnancy Category D medication, meaning it may harm an unborn child.  
 

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.
 
In animal studies, Vincasar PFS caused miscarriages and birth defects when given to pregnant mice and hamsters. It also caused birth defects when given to pregnant monkeys.
 
Vincasar PFS has not been adequately studied in pregnant women. However, there are reported cases where the drug was given to pregnant women. In these cases, some babies were born with birth defects, including heart defects and abnormally formed kidneys. The drug has also been associated with miscarriages when given to pregnant women.
 
It should be noted, however, that in all of the reported cases, the pregnant women were being treated with other chemotherapy medicines in addition to Vincasar PFS. Therefore, it is difficult to know whether the problems were due to Vincasar PFS, the other medicines, or something else.
 
Because of the potential risks to an unborn child, it is generally recommended that Vincasar PFS not be used in pregnant women if at all possible. Because cancer is potentially life-threatening, there may be times when a healthcare provider recommends this drug in a woman who is pregnant, despite the risks to the unborn child.
 
Women who receive Vincasar PFS may stop having monthly menstrual periods. You should not assume that you cannot become pregnant, even if you stop menstruating during treatment. All women of childbearing potential should use an effective form of birth control when using this medication. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best birth control options for your particular situation.
 
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