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The FDA has classified the Lidoderm patch (lidocaine patch) as a pregnancy Category B medication, meaning that the drug does not appear to pose a significant risk to a developing fetus. In animal studies, this medication did not appear to cause any harm to the fetus. Even so, medicine can react differently in humans; it's wise to consult your doctor before using the patch during pregnancy.
Can Pregnant Women Use Lidoderm?The Lidoderm® patch (lidocaine patch) is a prescription pain medication approved for the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia (pain that occurs after a case of shingles). Based on studies in animals, the patch appears to be relatively safe for use during pregnancy.
What Is Pregnancy Category B?The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a pregnancy category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category B is given to medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant humans, but do not appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies. Medications that have been shown to be safe for use in pregnancy in humans (but have caused problems in laboratory animals) are also given a Category B rating.
In studies, giving lidocaine (the active ingredient in Lidoderm) to pregnant rats by injecting it under the skin did not cause any fetal harm.
Lidoderm has not been systematically studied in pregnant women. However, there is some information about the use of other forms of lidocaine during pregnancy (usually as a local anesthetic during labor and delivery). It is known that lidocaine passes through the placenta to the baby, and newborns with high levels of lidocaine in their bloodstream can have some temporary problems (such as heart rate problems, seizures, or breathing difficulties).
Even though pregnancy Category B medications are usually considered safe for use during pregnancy, they should only be given to a pregnant woman if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.