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Travatan and Pregnancy

Animal studies on Travatan (travoprost ophthalmic solution) and pregnancy indicate that the drug may not be safe for pregnant women. When high doses of the drug were given to pregnant mice and rats by IV or injection, miscarriages and other problems occurred. Due to these potential complications, it is important to notify your healthcare provider immediately if you are using Travatan and pregnancy occurs.

Can Travatan Be Used During Pregnancy?

Travatan® (travoprost ophthalmic solution) is a prescription medication approved to treat glaucoma and high eye pressure. It is not clear whether the medication is safe for use during pregnancy, as the full risks are not currently known. Travatan has been shown to cause birth defects and other problems when given to pregnant animals.
In April 2010, Alcon, Inc., announced that it would no longer be making regular Travatan. However, Travatan Z (which contains a gentler preservative) will continue to be available.

Travatan and Pregnancy Category C

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 studied in pregnant humans but that do appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies. Also, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
Travatan was given a pregnancy Category C rating because of problems seen in animal studies. When given to pregnant mice and rats, very high doses of Travatan given by IV or injected under the skin caused the following problems in the offspring:
  • Skeletal birth defects
  • Excessive fluid in the brain (hydrocephalus)
  • Dome-shaped head
  • Miscarriages
  • Decreased survival after birth
  • Low weight in the newborns
  • Slow development in the newborns.
It is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines in the same way that humans do. Therefore, a pregnancy Category C medicine may be given to a pregnant woman if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
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