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Sylatron and Pregnancy

When a medication similar to Sylatron was given to pregnant monkeys, it appeared to increase the risk for miscarriages. However, Sylatron has never been studied in pregnant women. It is classified as a pregnancy Category C medicine, meaning there are potential risks involved with taking it during pregnancy. Before using this medication, let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.

Can Pregnant Women Use Sylatron?

Sylatron™ (peginterferon alfa-2b) is a prescription injection used to treat malignant melanoma. This drug may not be safe for use during pregnancy. During animal studies, a similar medication appeared to increase the risk for miscarriages.
 

What Is Pregnancy Category C?

Sylatron is classified as a pregnancy Category C drug. 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 have caused fetal harm in animal studies.
 
In addition, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
 
When given to pregnant monkeys, interferon alfa-2b (a drug similar to Sylatron) caused miscarriages. However, the medication did not appear to increase the risk for birth defects, probably because interferons are not expected to cross the placenta.
 
However, Sylatron has not been studied in pregnant humans. There are reports of similar interferon medications being used during pregnancy without any problems. However, such reports cannot rule out the possibility of rare complications.
 

Final Thoughts

If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, let your healthcare provider know before receiving Sylatron. He or she will consider the benefits and risks before making a recommendation in your particular situation.
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