Kadian and Pregnancy

Animal studies on Kadian and pregnancy suggest that the medication may not be safe for pregnant women. Also, since Kadian is a narcotic, it may cause withdrawal symptoms (such as hyperactive reflexes or excessive crying) in an infant after delivery if it is used during the end of a pregnancy. If you are taking Kadian and pregnancy occurs, notify your healthcare provider immediately.

An Overview of Taking Kadian During Pregnancy

Kadian® (morphine sulfate ER) is a prescription pain medication. Based on the results of animal studies, the drug may not be safe for use during pregnancy.

Kadian and Pregnancy Category C

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a 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 adequately studied in pregnant humans but that do appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies. Also, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
When given to pregnant animals in the second trimester, morphine (the active ingredient of Kadian) increased the risk of birth defects (such as skeletal problems) and encephalopathy (brain disease or injury). Interestingly, giving male rats large doses of morphine before mating decreased the litter size. Animal studies also show that morphine may reversibly decrease the size of the brain, testes, and overall body weight of the offspring. Other problems seen in animal studies include slow growth, development, and sexual maturation, as well as decreased male fertility.
Kadian is a narcotic, and using this drug during the end of a pregnancy may cause narcotic withdrawal in the infant after delivery. Such withdrawal symptoms may include:
  • Irritability and excessive crying
  • Shakiness (tremors)
  • Hyperactive reflexes
  • Fast breathing
  • Increased stools
  • Sneezing
  • Yawning
  • Vomiting
  • Fever.
However, pregnancy Category C medicines, including Kadian, may be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
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Kadian Medication Information

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