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Lorcet and Pregnancy

In animal studies on Lorcet and pregnancy, the hydrocodone component of the medication increased the risk of birth defects when it was given to pregnant hamsters. Also, since hydrocodone is a narcotic, using this drug during the end of a pregnancy may cause narcotic withdrawal in the infant after delivery. If you are taking Lorcet and pregnancy occurs, talk to your healthcare provider immediately.

Lorcet During Pregnancy: An Overview

Lorcet® (hydrocodone/APAP) is a prescription pain medication. Based on information from animal studies (and some limited information from human studies), the drug may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although in some cases, the benefits may outweigh the risks.

Lorcet 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 adequately 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 default pregnancy Category C rating.
When given to pregnant hamsters, a single dose of hydrocodone (one of the components of Lorcet) increased the risk of birth defects, including cranial (skull) defects. Limited studies also suggest that Lorcet may increase the risk of similar birth defects in humans as well. Additionally, hydrocodone is a narcotic, and using this drug during the end of a pregnancy may cause narcotic withdrawal in the infant after delivery. Such withdrawal symptoms may include:
  • Shakiness (tremors)
  • Hyperactive reflexes
  • Irritability and excessive crying
  • Fast breathing
  • Increased stools
  • Sneezing
  • Yawning
  • Vomiting
  • Fever.
However, pregnancy Category C medicines, including Lorcet, may be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
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