Drugs, Pregnancy & Lactation

FDA issues new pregnancy/lactation drug label standards


Christina Chambers, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics and director of clinical research for the department of pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, also praised the new labeling rule, noting in an interview that “the final rule has been long awaited by many who work in the field of counseling pregnant and breastfeeding women about risks and safety of prescription medications, such as counselors with organizations like MotherToBaby, a service of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists, which provides information about medication and other exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and which was involved in development of the final rule.

“The MotherToBaby counselors located throughout the United States who answer questions about medication exposures for hundreds of women every day, have struggled for years with trying to explain the not-so-useful A, B, C, D, X pregnancy categories to patients and providers alike who commonly misinterpret their meaning. The new label format is much more content rich and evidence-based, and encompasses the larger picture of the safety data in the context of treatment (or lack of treatment) of the maternal condition. This is a huge step forward – and will make even more clear how critical the need is for more human pregnancy data for all medications likely to be used by women of reproductive age,” she said.

Dr. Chambers is the program director for MotherToBaby California, and director of the MotherToBaby research center at the University of California, San Diego. She reported having no relevant disclosures.

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