Zymaxid and Pregnancy
Women who are pregnant or planning on a pregnancy can use Zymaxid (gatifloxacin), provided the benefits outweigh the risks. This is something your healthcare provider will determine, based on your particular situation. The eye drop is expected to pose little risk to a fetus, since so little of the medication is absorbed into the blood; however, problems cannot be ruled out.
Zymaxid™ (gatifloxacin) is an antibiotic eye drop used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis, known more commonly as "pink eye." It belongs to a class of medications known as fluoroquinolones, or just "quinolones" for short.
Zymaxid is placed in the eye and very little, if any, of it is absorbed into the blood after normal use. Based on this information, Zymaxid is not thought to be particularly dangerous during pregnancy. However, the manufacturer recommends that it only be used by pregnant women if the benefits justify any potential risks.
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 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.
No birth defects were observed when oral gatifloxacin (the active ingredient in Zymaxid) was given to pregnant rats and rabbits. However, very high oral doses caused fetal heart, bone, and facial structure problems in pregnant rats. It also caused fetal death when given in late pregnancy to pregnant rats.
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.
In addition, the amount of Zymaxid expected to be absorbed from the eye into the blood is quite small. However, as mentioned, because the drug has not been studied in pregnant women, the full risks are not known at this time.