Generic Name: Fluconazole
Indications: Treatment of fungal infections.
FDA Drug Category: C
Summary Recommendations: A low dose of fluconazole is generally considered safe for use during pregnancy. Researchers have looked at the 150 mg dose, the most common dose to treat vaginal yeast infections, with no reported side effects. Higher doses, between 400 and 1,200 mg, have been shown to cause birth defects in some cases. Another name for fluconazole is Diflucan.
General Precautions: Pregnant women should take fluconazole only if prescribed by a physician who knows she is pregnant or the health care provider responsible for prenatal care. Doses in excess of 150 mg may be associated with birth defects, including malformed bones, face, head and heart. Birth defects only appeared in infants born to women taking high doses of fluconazole for extended periods to treat systemic fungal infections.
Fluconazole stays in the body up to nine days after treatment, so talk with your physician if you are planning a pregnancy or if you just found out you’re pregnant and you’re currently on a treatment plan involving the drug.
Effect While Trying to Conceive: There are no known effects on either male or female fertility associated with fluconazole.
Effects on Pregnancy: Fluconazole does not appear to have any negative effect on pregnancy during the first trimester. Studies indicate no increased risk of miscarriage associated with the drug. If prescribed during pregnancy, doctors will typically prescribe a single dose of 150 mg to treat fungal infections like vaginal yeast infections. Higher doses may be linked to birth defects and should only be used under the care of a physician.
Higher doses may be suggested by your obstetrician if the benefits of taking fluconazole outweigh the possible side effects, but this is an extremely rare situation. If you are suffering a vaginal yeast infection, topical treatments will often be prescribed before treatment with this drug.
Safe During Breastfeeding: Fluconazole is considered safe for use while breastfeeding by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The drug does pass through breastmilk to the infant, but the amount passed is far smaller than the amount taken by the breastfeeding mother.