Although Iquix is an eye drop and very little medication is expected to be absorbed into the body, the manufacturer still recommends that women who are pregnant use Iquix with caution, since not all risks are known. In animal studies, when the active ingredient in the eye drop was given orally, it caused problems in rats but did not cause problems in rabbits.
Can Pregnant Women Use Iquix?
Iquix® (levofloxacin ophthalmic solution) is a prescription eye drop approved to treat corneal ulcers. It belongs to a group of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones, or just "quinolones" for short.
Due to the fact that Iquix is an eye drop, levels of the medication in the rest of the body are expected to be quite low. Based on this information, the medicine is not thought to be particularly dangerous during pregnancy. However, all the possible risks are not known at this time. The manufacturer recommends that Iquix only be used in pregnancy if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk 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 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.
In addition, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
Although Iquix has not been studied in pregnant women or animals, levofloxacin (the active ingredient in Iquix) has been studied in pregnant animals. When given to pregnant rats at very high doses (up to 7,000 times the maximum recommended daily eye dose), oral levofloxacin increased the risk for miscarriage and reduced fetal body weight. Similar problems were not seen when the drug was given to pregnant rabbits.
It is also 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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