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Aricept and Pregnancy

Aricept is considered a pregnancy Category C medicine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This means that Aricept and pregnancy haven't been studied together in humans, but they have been studied together in pregnant animals -- and the results of these studies suggest that Aricept could potentially damage a human fetus. Aricept may still be prescribed if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh the possible risks to the unborn child.

Is Aricept Safe During Pregnancy?

Aricept® (donepezil hydrochloride) is considered a pregnancy Category C medicine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It has not been studied in pregnant women. However, when studied in pregnant animals, a few problems were seen. This suggests that Aricept could potentially cause harm to your unborn child. It is important to note, however, that animals do not always respond to medicines the same way that humans do.
 

Aricept and Pregnancy Category C

The FDA uses a pregnancy category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been studied in pregnant humans but do appear 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. A pregnancy Category C medicine may still be given to pregnant women if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh the possible risks to the unborn child.
 
Aricept was given a pregnancy Category C rating due to problems seen in animal studies. When given to pregnant rats, Aricept increased the risk of still births and decreased the chance of offspring survival. Studies in both pregnant rats and rabbits did not indicate that Aricept causes birth defects.
 
If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant while taking Aricept, let your healthcare provider know. He or she will consider both the benefits and risks of Aricept during pregnancy before making a recommendation for your particular situation. It is important to note that Aricept is approved only to treat Alzheimer's disease, a condition that is not likely to occur in women of childbearing age.
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