Phenergan® (promethazine hydrochloride) is a prescription drug approved for many different uses, including the treatment of nausea and vomiting. Some women are naturally concerned about taking Phenergan when pregnant.
At this time, it is unclear if Phenergan is safe for use during pregnancy, although there are clearly situations in which the benefits outweigh the possible risks. For example, the medication is often used to help treat severe morning sickness (known medically as hyperemesis gravidarum).
Based on limited information gathered from reports of Phenergan use in pregnant women, there is no strong evidence to suggest that the medicine causes birth defects. Although it is approved to be used during labor, there is some evidence that the drug might increase the risk of breathing problems in newborns (although not all studies indicate that this is really a problem).
Taking the drug during the last two weeks of pregnancy also seems to decrease the ability of blood platelets to stick together in both the mother and the newborn. This could potentially cause problems with excessive bleeding.
(Click Phenergan and Pregnancy for more information on whether Phenergan is safe for pregnant women and to learn more about the clinical studies used to detect the problems that may occur if this drug is used during pregnancy.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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