Hi, My wife is currently taking sulfamethoxazole/trimethorp tab twice a day for her infection(cliped her toe nail too short). Is it safe if she plans to become pregnant?(She's not pregnant now) Doc says okay, but I want to get second opinion. Thank you.
Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim a prescription antibiotic. At this time, it is not clear if Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim is safe for use during pregnancy. The manufacturer states that pregnant women should not take Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, except in rare situations when the potential benefits outweigh the risks to the fetus.
FDA uses a pregnancy 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 studied in pregnant humans but do appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies.
In animal studies, Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim increased the risk of cleft palate. Also, trimethoprim increased the risk of fetal death in rats. Human studies are generally lacking, although some data suggests that the risk for birth defects is probably low. It is thought that Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim might contribute to birth defects by decreasing folic acid; if it is necessary for a pregnant woman to take Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, a folic acid supplement (at a higher than normal dose for a pregnant woman) might be helpful.
Of possibly greater concern, Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim might increase the risk of jaundice and, theoretically, kernicterus (brain damage caused by severe jaundice) in the newborn, especially if a pregnant woman takes Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim late in pregnancy.
A pregnancy Category C medicine may be given to a pregnant woman if a doc believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child. If other, more suitable antibiotics are available (and are likely to be effective for treating a particular infection), Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim should be avoided. However, if Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim appears to be necessary to treat an infection, the benefits may outweigh the potential risks.
Maybe seeking a second opinion from a gynecologist also would be helpful, please take care.
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