Bladder Home > Cipro XR and Pregnancy

When given to pregnant rabbits, Cipro XR (ciprofloxacin extended release), appeared to increase the risk of miscarriage; however, the same problem was not seen in mice and rats, even when six times the usual human dose was used. In general, this drug should not be used during pregnancy, but a healthcare provider may prescribe it if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Can Pregnant Women Use Cipro XR?

Cipro® XR (ciprofloxacin extended release) is a prescription antibiotic medication used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). At this time, it is unknown if Cipro XR is safe for use during pregnancy. The manufacturer recommends that it only be used in pregnant women if the potential benefits to the woman outweigh the possible risks to the fetus.
 

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 drug is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been studied in pregnant humans but do 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.
 
In animal studies, ciprofloxacin, the active ingredient in Cipro XR, did not appear to cause birth defects or other problems when given to pregnant mice and rats in doses up to six times the usual human dose. However, it did appear to increase the risk for miscarriage when given to pregnant rabbits.
 
Cipro XR has not been studied thoroughly in pregnant women. There have been reported cases of birth defects in infants whose mothers took ciprofloxacin during pregnancy; however, one single type of defect does not appear to occur more often than others. Therefore, it is difficult to tell if ciprofloxacin actually caused the birth defects.
 
To date, the research seems to suggest that Cipro XR would not substantially increase the risk for major birth defects, but there is not enough information to say that it is completely safe for use in pregnancy.
 
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, which may be the case if other, more suitable, antibiotics are not an option and Cipro XR is necessary to treat an infection.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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