FDA to Revise Statin Pregnancy Contraindication

July 20, 2021

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) aims to update the labeling on all statins to remove the drugs' blanket contraindication in all pregnant patients, the agency has announced. The change should reinforce for both physicians and patients that statin use in women with unrecognized pregnancy is unlikely to be harmful, it said.

"Because the benefits of statins may include prevention of serious or potentially fatal events in a small group of very high-risk pregnant patients, contraindicating these drugs in all pregnant women is not appropriate."

The revision should emphasize for clinicians "that statins are safe to prescribe in patients who can become pregnant and help them reassure patients with unintended statin exposure in early pregnancy" the FDA explained.

Removal of the broadly worded contraindication should "enable health care professionals and patients to make individual decisions about benefit and risk, especially for those at very high risk of heart attack or stroke." That includes women with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and those who are prescribed statins for secondary prevention, the agency said.

Clinicians "should discontinue statin therapy in most pregnant patients, or they can consider the ongoing therapeutic needs of the individual patient, particularly those at very high risk for cardiovascular events during pregnancy. Because of the chronic nature of cardiovascular disease, treatment of hyperlipidemia is not generally necessary during pregnancy."

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