Norco and Pregnancy
Based on information obtained from clinical studies on Norco (hydrocodone/APAP) and pregnancy, the medication may not be safe for use during pregnancy. The risk of birth defects was increased when a single dose of hydrocodone, a component of Norco, was given to pregnant hamsters. If you are taking Norco and pregnancy occurs, your healthcare provider will weigh the benefits and risks before making a recommendation.
Norco® (hydrocodone/APAP) is a prescription pain medication. Based on animal studies (and limited human studies), the drug may not be safe for use during pregnancy. In some situations, however, the benefits of Norco for pain relief may outweigh the risks to a fetus.
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 any medication that has been shown to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies and that has not yet been adequately studied in pregnant humans. Also, medicines that have not been studied adequately in any pregnant animals or women are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
In studies, when a single dose of hydrocodone (the narcotic component of Norco) was given to pregnant hamsters, the risk of birth defects, including cranial defects, was increased. Limited human studies also indicate that hydrocodone may increase the risk of similar birth defects. Hydrocodone is a narcotic, and using this drug during the end of a pregnancy may cause narcotic withdrawal symptoms in the infant after delivery. Such withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Irritability and excessive crying
- Shakiness (tremors)
- Hyperactive reflexes
- Fast breathing
- Increased stools
Pregnancy Category C medicines, including Norco, 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.