Skip to Content

Guaifenesin / pseudoephedrine Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Guaifenesin / pseudoephedrine is also known as: Anatuss LA, Coldmist, Congestac, Defen-LA, Despec-Tab, Dynex, Entex PSE, Entex T, Eudal SR, Guaimax-D, Mardrops-EX, Medent-LDI, Mucinex D, Mucinex D Maximum Strength, Nalex CR, Pan-Mist LA, Panmist JR, Poly-Vent IR, Profen II, Pseudo Max, Pseudovent, Sinufed, Versacaps, Zephrex, Zephrex LA

Guaifenesin / pseudoephedrine Pregnancy Warnings

Guaifenesin-pseudoephedrine has been assigned to a pregnancy category C by the FDA. Animal studies have not been reported. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. Guaifenesin-pseudoephedrine is only recommended for use during pregnancy when benefit outweighs risk.

Pseudoephedrine: 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 heterogenous defects suspected to have a vascular etiology was studied. There was no increased risk associate with salicylates, ibuprofen, pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine and other decongestants. These data require independent confirmation. In a review of 229,101 deliveries to Michigan Medicaid patients, 940 first-trimester exposures to pseudoephedrine and 1919 exposures any time during pregnancy were recorded. 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 compared to 3752 pseudoephedrine-exposed pregnancies. Seven of the nine cases had been exposed to pseudoephedrine providing a relative risk of 1.8. Only one case 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 any time 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. Guaifenesin: 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 any time 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)

See references

Guaifenesin / pseudoephedrine Breastfeeding Warnings

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.

Three mothers given pseudoephedrine demonstrated milk concentrations consistently higher than plasma concentrations. Maximum milk concentrations were reached at 1 to 1.5 hours after dosing. In one woman, the milk:plasma concentration ratio at 1, 3, and 12 hours was 3.3, 3.9, and 2.6, respectively. The authors calculated that 1000 mL of breast milk consumed over 24 hours would provide an infant with 0.25 to 0.33 mg of pseudoephedrine, or 0.5% to 0.7% of the dose ingested by the mother.

See references

References for pregnancy information

  1. Werler MM, Mitchell AA, Shapiro S "First trimester maternal medication use in relation to gastroschisis." Teratology 45 (1992): 361-7
  2. Smith CV, Rayburn WF, Anderson JC, Duckworth AF, Appel LL "Effect of a single dose of oral pseudoephedrine on uterine and fetal Doppler blood flow." Obstet Gynecol 76 (1990): 803-6
  3. Heinonen O, Slone D, Shapiro S; Kaufman DW ed. "Birth Defects and Drugs in Pregnancy." Littleton, MA: Publishing Sciences Group, Inc. (1977): 297
  4. "Product Information. Humabid (guaifenesin)." Medeva Pharmaceuticals, Rochester, NY.

References for breastfeeding information

  1. Committee on Drugs, 1992 to 1993 "The transfer of drugs and other chemicals into human milk." Pediatrics 93 (1994): 137-50
  2. Covington TR, Lawson LC, Young LL, eds. "Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. 10th ed." Washington, DC: American Pharmaceutical Association (1993):
  3. Findlay JW, Butz RF, Sailstad JM, Warren JT, Welch RM "Pseudoephedrine and triprolidine in plasma and breast milk of nursing mothers." Br J Clin Pharmacol 18 (1984): 901-6

See Also...

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Wolters Kluwer Health and is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This drug information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Multum Information Services, Inc. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. Copyright 2000-2008 Multum Information Services, Inc. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.