Cholesterol Home > Lipitor and Pregnancy
It can be dangerous to take Lipitor when pregnant. The FDA considers it a pregnancy Category X drug, which means Lipitor has been shown to cause problems to the fetus in animal studies or in pregnant women who have mistakenly taken the medicine. Because of the risks associated with taking Lipitor during pregnancy, such women should not take the medication.
Lipitor® (atorvastatin calcium) is a pregnancy Category X medicine, which means it could potentially cause harm to your unborn child. Therefore, women who are pregnant should not take this drug. If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider immediately.
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 X refers to medicines that cause problems to the fetus in animal studies or in humans who have mistakenly taken the medicine while pregnant. The use of a Category X medicine during pregnancy is not recommended.
Animal studies do not indicate that Lipitor increases the risk of birth defects. However, giving large doses to pregnant rats decreased the pup survival and caused low birth weight, poor weight gain, and delayed development.
There have been occasional reports of problems (such as miscarriages or birth defects) possibly due to the use of statins in pregnant humans, but it does not appear that statins actually increased the risks of such problems. After all, a certain number of miscarriages and birth defects will occur during pregnancies, even if no medications are taken.
Theoretically, statins such as Lipitor could cause problems, since cholesterol is necessary for normal fetal development. Because the drug provides no significant benefit during pregnancy and because there are theoretical risks, it is not recommended for use in pregnant women.