Ciprofloxacin and Pregnancy

In animal studies on ciprofloxacin and pregnancy, the drug was shown to increase the risk for miscarriages when high doses were given orally to pregnant rabbits. However, animals do not always respond to medicines in the same way that humans do, and a healthcare provider can still prescribe the drug if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Can Pregnant Women Take Ciprofloxacin?

Ciprofloxacin is a prescription antibiotic used to treat a variety of different bacterial infections. It belongs to a group of drugs called fluoroquinolones, or "quinolones" for short. At this time, it is not known if ciprofloxacin is safe for use during pregnancy.

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. 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.
In addition, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
In animal studies, ciprofloxacin did not appear to cause birth defects or other offspring problems when given in high doses (up to six times the usual human oral dose) to pregnant mice and rats. However, it did appear to increase the risk for miscarriages when given to pregnant rabbits.
Ciprofloxacin has not been studied in pregnant women. There have been reported cases of birth defects in infants whose mothers took oral ciprofloxacin during pregnancy; however, one single type of defect does not appear to occur more often than any other. Therefore, it is difficult to tell if ciprofloxacin actually caused the birth defects.
The data to date seems to suggest that ciprofloxacin does not substantially increase the risk for major birth defects, but there is not enough information to say it is completely safe for use in pregnancy.
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 the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child. If other, more suitable, antibiotics are not an option and ciprofloxacin is necessary to treat an infection, the benefits may outweigh the risks.
It is also important to point out that the amount of ciprofloxacin expected to be absorbed into the body when used in the eyes or ears is quite small. Therefore, it is difficult to make any conclusions about using ciprofloxacin ear and eye products during pregnancy based on oral ciprofloxacin information.
Pregnancy and Pain

Ciprofloxacin Antibiotic Information

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