Intended for healthcare professionals


Avoid prescribing pregabalin during pregnancy if possible, says UK drug regulator

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: (Published 21 April 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:o1010
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. Kent

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has strengthened its warning about avoiding pregabalin during pregnancy after new data showed an increased risk of major congenital malformations associated with the drug.1

Pregabalin (brand names Alzain, Axalid, Lecaent, Lyrica, plus generic versions) is commonly used to treat peripheral and central neuropathic pain, generalised anxiety disorder, and epilepsy.

The updated advice follows a Nordic observational study of more than 2700 pregnancies exposed to pregabalin in the first trimester.2

Doctors should provide counselling to patients using pregabalin on the potential risks to an unborn baby and the need to use effective contraception during treatment, the guidance …

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