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Symmetrel and Pregnancy

Animal studies on Symmetrel (amantadine) and pregnancy have shown that the drug may not be safe during this time. When given to pregnant rats, Symmetrel increased the risk of birth defects and miscarriages. However, it is not known if the drug would cause the same problems in pregnant women. If you are taking Symmetrel and pregnancy occurs, notify your healthcare provider right away.

Is It Safe to Take Symmetrel During Pregnancy?

Symmetrel® (amantadine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication that is used for a few different conditions, including the flu. Animal studies have suggested that Symmetrel may not be safe for use during pregnancy.
 

Symmetrel and 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 that 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.
 
Symmetrel has not been adequately studied in pregnant humans. Studies in rats suggest that it could increase the risk of miscarriages or birth defects, but it is not known if this is true for humans. There have been a few reported cases of birth defects in infants whose mothers took the drug during pregnancy, but it is not known if these birth defects were caused by Symmetrel or other factors.
 
For pregnant women, the flu vaccine (rather than medications like Symmetrel) is the recommended way to prevent the flu. Currently, it is recommended that all women who are pregnant (or who plan on becoming pregnant) during flu season get the influenza vaccine.
 
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