The anti-seizure and anxiety drug Lyrica has been linked to a tripled increased risk of heart defects, nervous system defects (such as spina bifida) and other life-threatening birth defects.
Study Links Lyrica and Birth Defects
A study published in Neurology in May 2016 found that women who used Lyrica just before pregnancy or during the first trimester may triple the risk of major birth defects.
The researchers found that 6% of women who used Lyrica during the first six weeks of pregnancy had a baby with a major birth defect, based on data from 164 women. Out of 656 women who did not use Lyrica, only 2% had a baby with a birth defect.
Birth Defects Linked to Lyrica
- Heart defects
- Central nervous system defects (spina bifida, anencephaly, etc.)
- Structural defects in organs
Lyrica and Pregnancy
Pfizer asks pregnant women on Lyrica to enroll in a study of birth defects, but they do not warn against taking Lyrica during pregnancy. Lyrica is a “Pregnancy Class C,” which means the risk in people is unknown but animal studies have shown evidence of birth defects.