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Acetaminophen / guaifenesin / pseudoephedrine Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Acetaminophen / guaifenesin / pseudoephedrine is also known as: Sudafed Triple Action, Tylenol Sinus Severe Congestion Daytime

Acetaminophen / guaifenesin / pseudoephedrine Pregnancy Warnings

Acetaminophen has not been formally assigned to a pregnancy category by the FDA. Animal studies have not been reported. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. It is routinely used for short-term pain relief and fever in all stages of pregnancy. Acetaminophen is believed to be safe in pregnancy when used intermittently for short durations. Acetaminophen should only be given during pregnancy when need has been clearly established. Guaifenesin has been assigned to pregnancy category C by the FDA. Animal studies have not been reported. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. Pseudoephedrine has not been formally assigned to a pregnancy category by the FDA. Animal studies have not been reported. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. Based on available data, pseudoephedrine is not thought to be teratogenic. Acetaminophen/guaifenesin/pseudoephedrine is only recommended for use during pregnancy when benefit outweighs risk.

One study has suggested that acetaminophen in typical oral doses may result in a reduced production of prostacyclin in pregnant women. That study also suggested that acetaminophen does not affect thromboxane production. Investigations have revealed conflicting results with regards to the pharmacokinetic disposition of acetaminophen in pregnant women. One study has suggested that the oral clearance of acetaminophen is 58% higher and the elimination half-life is 28% longer in pregnant women compared to nonpregnant women. Another study has suggested that the elimination half-life is not different in patients who are pregnant. That study also suggested that the volume of distribution of acetaminophen may be higher in pregnant women. The Collaborative Perinatal Project reported 197 first-trimester exposures to guaifenesin. Fourteen malformations were reported for a relative risk not significantly different from 1.0. In a review of 229,101 deliveries to Michigan Medicaid patients, 141 first-trimester exposures to guaifenesin and 349 exposures anytime during pregnancy were recorded. A total of 9 birth defects were reported with first trimester exposure (6 expected) and included 2 cardiovascular defects. These data do not support an association between guaifenesin and birth defects. (written communication, Franz Rosa, MD, Food and Drug Administration, 1994)Two cases of acetaminophen overdose in late pregnancy have been reported. In both cases neither the neonate nor the mother suffered hepatic toxicity. A case-controlled surveillance study reported an elevated relative risk (3.2) of gastroschisis with first-trimester pseudoephedrine use in 76 cases. Relative risks for other drugs were 1.6 for salicylates, 1.7 for acetaminophen, 1.3 for ibuprofen, and 1.5 for phenylpropanolamine (not significant). The authors hypothesized vascular disruption was the etiology of gastroschisis. A second group of 416 infants with heterogeneous defects suspected to have a vascular etiology were reviewed. There was no increased risk associated with salicylates, ibuprofen, pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine or other decongestants. These data require independent confirmation. In a review of 229,101 deliveries to Michigan Medicaid patients, 940 first-trimester exposures to pseudoephedrine were recorded and 1919 exposures anytime during pregnancy. A total of 37 birth defects were reported with first trimester exposure (40 expected) and included (observed/expected) 3/9 cardiovascular defects, 2 oral clefts, and 3/2 polydactyly. These researchers reviewed nine cases of abdominal wall defects in the 1980-1983 Medicaid data. Seven of the nine cases occurred in 3752 woman who had taken pseudoephedrine for a relative risk of 1.8. Only one of these cases was a surgically treated abdominal wall defect. (written communication, Franz Rosa, MD, Food and Drug Administration, 1994). The Collaborative Perinatal Project monitored 50,282 mother-child pairs. Only 39 first-trimester exposures to pseudoephedrine were recorded, with one birth defect observed. For use anytime during pregnancy, 194 exposures were recorded with 3 birth defects observed (3.22 expected). The effect of pseudoephedrine on uterine and fetal blood was studied in 12 healthy pregnant women between 26 and 40 weeks gestation. Following a single 60 mg dose of pseudoephedrine, no significant effect was seen on fetal heart rate, uterine blood flow, or fetal aortic blood flow.

Acetaminophen / guaifenesin / pseudoephedrine Breastfeeding Warnings

Acetaminophen is excreted into human milk in small concentrations. One case of a rash has been reported in a nursing infant. Acetaminophen is considered compatible with breast-feeding by the American Academy of Pediatrics. There are no data on the excretion of guaifenesin into human milk. Pseudoephedrine is excreted into human milk. The manufacturer recommends that due to the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, a decision should be made to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

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