Prevacid (Lansoprazole) During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Is it safe?


Each year millions of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers use medications for an enormous variety of conditions and diseases. Many times – in fact, most times – we may not know a lot about the use of these drugs in pregnancy or in breastfeeding. If this is your concern then ladies keep your worries aside because we are here to help you. You would discover the impact of using medications during pregnancy and during breastfeeding. Unfortunately, little is known about the transfer of many drugs in milk.  Far less than one-fourth of the drugs on the market today have been studied in breastfeeding mothers.  Among many, I would focus on the lansoprazole here.

Lansoprazole sold under the brand name Prevacid among others. PREVACID is indicated in adults for short-term treatment (for four weeks) for healing and symptom relief of active duodenal ulcer. Prevacid is a safe and effective medication for treating stomach ulcers and other medical conditions associated with increased stomach acid. It relieves symptoms such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and persistent cough. This medication helps heal acid damage to the stomach and oesophagus; helps prevent ulcers, and may help prevent cancer of the oesophagus. Lansoprazole belongs to a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

Lansoprezole belongs to a class of anti-secretory compounds, that suppress gastric acid secretion by specific inhibition of the (H+, K+)-ATPase enzyme system at the secretory surface of the gastric cell which secretes acid. Because this enzyme system is regarded as the acid (proton) pump within the parietal cell, lansoprazole has been characterized as a gastric acid-pump inhibitor, in that it blocks the final step of acid production. Dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Prevacid (Lansoprazole): Side Effects, Warnings and Nursing

prevacid during pregnancy

Side effects of PPIs in general and lansoprazole, in particular, may include:

  • Common: diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • Infrequent: dry mouth, insomnia, drowsiness, blurred vision, rash, pruritus
  • Rarely and very rarely: taste disturbance, liver dysfunction, peripheral edema, hypersensitivity reactions (including bronchospasm, urinary)
  • Photosensitivity
  • Fever
  • Sweating & depression
  • blood disorders
  • skin reactions

Prevacid Warnings

Prevacid does not work immediately. It can take three or four days to see improvement in symptoms like heartburn. There may be risks associated with taking this drug for extended periods of time.

The FDA warns that long-term use of Prevacid can cause

  • Bone fractures in the hip, wrist, or spine.
  • If you take this drug for three months or more you may also develop low magnesium levels.

This can be serious and may or may not come with symptoms. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed. Overdosing can give side effects like:



Teratogenic Effects (can disturb the development of embryo)

Pregnancy Category B. Reproduction studies have been performed in pregnant rats at oral doses up to 40 times the recommended human dose and in pregnant rabbits at oral doses up to 16 times the recommended human dose and have revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to lansoprazole. There are, however, no adequate or well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

Nursing/Breastfeeding Mothers

Lansoprazole or its metabolites are excreted in the milk of rats. It is not known whether lansoprazole is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from lansoprazole, and because of the potential for tumorigenicity shown for lansoprazole in rats cancer studies, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue lansoprazole, taking into account the importance of lansoprazole to the mother.

Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!