Mental Health Home > Methamphetamine and Pregnancy
In animal studies that assessed the effects of prescription methamphetamine on pregnancy, the medication was shown to cause birth defects and miscarriages. Taking methamphetamine during pregnancy can increase the risk of having a premature baby. Also, babies who are exposed to methamphetamine in the womb may experience drug withdrawal after birth. Based on the animal studies concerning methamphetamine and pregnancy, the drug has been classified as a pregnancy Category C medicine by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
While most people think of methamphetamine as an illegal street drug, it is also a prescription medication used for the treatment of ADHD or obesity. Based on studies conducted on the prescription version of methamphetamine (Desoxyn®), the medication may not be safe for use during pregnancy. These studies were conducted using animals to better understand the risks of taking Desoxyn during pregnancy.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a pregnancy 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. Also, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
Methamphetamine was given a pregnancy risk Category C rating because it was shown to cause birth defects and miscarriages in animals. Also, taking methamphetamine during pregnancy may increase your risk of having a premature baby or a low birth weight baby. The baby may also experience methamphetamine withdrawal after birth.
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.
There may be other unknown risks of using the illegal versions of methamphetamine, which may not be pure. Taking methamphetamine in ways other than by mouth (such as injecting or snorting it) may cause other unknown risks during pregnancy.