A study published in the May 2016 edition of Neurology, the American Academy of Neurology's online medical journal, offered sobering news for expectant mothers who rely on the prescription drug Lyrica (pregabalin) to treat their epilepsy, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, or psychiatric disorders.
Conducted by researchers from the Swiss Teratogen Information Service and Lausanne University Hospital's clinical pharmacology division, the study linked Lyrica use during pregnancy to a three-fold increase in the risk for major birth defects. According to the study, women who took Lyrica during the first trimester of pregnancy had a 6 percent risk of giving birth to infants with serious birth defects, compared to a 2 percent risk among women who did not take the drug.
Heart defects, as well as structural problems with organs and the central nervous system, were among the most common birth defects associated with the use of the drug.
However, limitations in the study's methodology makes its findings somewhat inconclusive. For example, the study used a sample size of just 800 women and did not control for other prescription drugs, medical conditions or lifestyle habits such as diabetes or smoking, that can also affect pregnancy outcomes.
Until the results of the study can be confirmed, women who are currently taking Lyrica while trying to become pregnant should talk to their doctor about safer treatment options.
Manufactured by Pfizer, Lyrica gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2004, hitting the market the following year. In the time since its FDA approval, doctors have prescribed Lyrica to more than 9 million patients.
Birth Injury Lawyers You Can Trust
If you took Lyrica while pregnant and gave birth to an infant with a serious birth defect, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the drug's manufacturer. Contact Holton Law Firm to schedule a free analysis to discuss your case with a legal professional. For additional information, request a free copy of Holton Law Firm's eBook, Answers to Parents' Questions About Birth Injuries.