Can Pregnant Women Use Nicorette Gum?
gum (nicotine gum
) is a nonprescription medication that helps people stop smoking by reducing nicotine withdrawal symptoms, such as nicotine cravings. It is a pregnancy Category C medicine, which means it may not be safe for use in pregnancy.
What Is 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 adequately studied in pregnant humans but did appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies.
In addition, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
When given to pregnant mice in high doses, nicotine (the active ingredient in Nicorette Gum
) caused bone problems in the offspring. When given in high doses to pregnant monkeys and sheep, it caused breathing problems in the offspring, as well as low blood pressure
in the monkeys. Nicorette Gum has not been studied in pregnant women.
However, pregnancy Category C medicines, including Nicorette Gum, may be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to her unborn child.
Using Nicorette Gum is believed to be safer than smoking cigarettes during pregnancy. Smoking is harmful to both the pregnant woman and the developing baby. It increases the risk for miscarriage, premature delivery, and low birth weight.
It is generally recommended that women first try to stop smoking without using nicotine replacement products, including Nicorette Gum. Because of the addictive nature of nicotine, this is often difficult to do. If you are having problems quitting smoking, your healthcare provider may recommend a product like Nicorette Gum to help you.