Is It Safe to Take Lortab When You Are Pregnant?

Taking Lortab during pregnancy could cause problems for the mother and baby.

Lortab combines hydrocodone, a Schedule II controlled opioid drug, and acetaminophen, an over-the-counter pain reliever. It is believed that using hydrocodone and acetaminophen together is more effective for pain relief than only using one of these drugs.

Sometimes a woman becomes pregnant or wants to become pregnant while taking Lortab. She may wonder if Lortab is safe to take while pregnant and how to handle Lortab use before or during pregnancy.

What Does the FDA Say About Lortab During Pregnancy?

The FDA considers Lortab a Category C drug for pregnancy. While Category C drugs are only two categories away from the safest drugs (Category A), they have shown the possibility to harm a fetus in animal testing or inconclusive findings in human studies.

Human studies of Lortab use during pregnancy have been limited since it is unethical to expose human fetuses to potentially harmful drugs intentionally. The observational studies that have been done showed a possible increase in heart defects, spina bifida and gastroschisis, which is an opening in the abdomen.

The FDA does not yet have sufficient information about all the ways Lortab could affect an unborn baby.

What Do Published Studies Say About Lortab During Pregnancy?

Other studies have shown lower birth weight and higher rates of stillbirth, premature delivery and fetal distress during labor when the mother is misusing opioids, which may include Lortab but also include stronger drugs like heroin. Opioids, including Lortab, are highly addictive and can be difficult to stop taking even during pregnancy.

Lortab addiction during pregnancy could be dangerous for your baby in another way. Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) occurs when babies are born to mothers who used opioids during their pregnancies, particularly late in the pregnancy. Some of its symptoms are breathing problems, a poor sucking reflex, extreme drowsiness (sleepiness), irritability, sweating, tremors, vomiting and diarrhea. Interestingly, most of these are also withdrawal symptoms from Lortab.

Babies with NAS can be treated for these symptoms with medication, IV fluids and other medical interventions. Symptoms of NAS can last up to two weeks. Studies on whether opioid use during pregnancy causes long-term problems for babies have not been conclusive up to this point.

It is possible that taking Lortab during pregnancy can lead to problems for you or your baby. Always consult with your doctor before beginning or discontinuing the use of medication. If you want to find out about local treatment programs for Lortab misuse or any substance use disorder, contact The Recovery Village Palmer Lake today.