Eyes Home > Maxidex and Pregnancy

Based on the results of animal studies, Maxidex (dexamethasone ophthalmic suspension) is classified as a pregnancy Category C medicine, meaning it may not be safe for women who are expecting. When the drug's active ingredient was applied to the eyes of pregnant rabbits and mice, it caused multiple birth defects and even fetal death. However, the drug may still be prescribed if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Can Pregnant Women Use Maxidex?

Maxidex® (dexamethasone ophthalmic suspension) is a prescription eye drop used to treat inflammation of the eye and eyelids caused by certain eye conditions. Based on the results of animal studies, this medication may not be safe for use in pregnant women, although the full risks are unknown.
 

What Is Pregnancy Category C?

Maxidex is classified as a pregnancy Category C drug. 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 have caused fetal harm 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.
 
This drug has not been studied in pregnant women. In animal studies, applying dexamethasone (the active ingredient in Maxidex) to the eyes of pregnant mice and rabbits caused birth defects in the offspring. Specifically, the drug caused cleft palate in the mice and multiple birth defects in the rabbits. It also caused fetal death in the mice and rabbits.
 
However, it is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines in the same way that humans do. Therefore, pregnancy Category C medicines, including Maxidex, may be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits of the medication 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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