Blood Home > Ferriprox and Pregnancy

Women may not be able to safely take Ferriprox (deferiprone) during pregnancy, as this drug may cause problems in a fetus. It may cause birth defects, fetal death, or other potentially serious problems. To avoid dangerous complications, talk to your healthcare provider about whether the benefits of taking Ferriprox outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.

Can Pregnant Women Take Ferriprox?

Ferriprox® (deferiprone) is a prescription medication used to help the body remove excess iron. It is approved for use in people with high iron levels due to blood transfusions used to treat thalassemia. Based on the results of animal studies, Ferriprox may not be safe for use in pregnant women.

What Is Pregnancy Category D?

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. Ferriprox is classified as a pregnancy Category D medicine.
Pregnancy Category D is a classification given to medicines that have been shown to present a risk to the fetus in studies of pregnant women, but may still offer benefits that outweigh the risks the drug presents. A pregnancy Category D drug may still be given to a pregnant woman if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh the possible risks to the unborn child.

What Risks Does Ferriprox Present to a Pregnant Woman?

Preliminary studies in animals suggest that Ferriprox, even at lower-than-normal doses, may increase the risk of birth defects and embryo or fetal death.
However, it is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines in the same way that humans do. Therefore, a pregnancy Category D medicine 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.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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