Azasan and Pregnancy

When the active ingredient in Azasan was given to pregnant animals, it increased the risk for birth defects, including skeletal and organ problems. Due to these and other potential risks, this drug is classified as a pregnancy Category D medication, meaning it may not be safe during pregnancy. However, there may be times when the benefits of Azasan outweigh the risks.

Can Pregnant Women Take Azasan?

Azasan® (azathioprine) may not be safe for use in pregnant women. In animal studies, the drug increased the risk for certain birth defects.
 

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. Azasan is classified as a pregnancy Category D medication.
 
Pregnancy Category D is a classification given to medicines that have been shown to present a risk to the fetus in studies. However, a pregnancy Category D medicine may still be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the mother outweigh the possible risks to her unborn child.
 
When given to pregnant rabbits and mice, azathioprine (the active ingredient in Azasan) increased the risk for birth defects, including skeletal and organ problems. In the few reported cases of azathioprine use during human pregnancy, infants were born with poorly functioning immune systems.
 
While the drug should not be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis during pregnancy, there may be situations when it is appropriate to use Azasan to prevent kidney transplant rejection in pregnant women.
 

Final Thoughts

If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, let your healthcare provider know. He or she will consider both the benefits and risks of taking Azasan before making a recommendation in your particular situation.
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