Because Menveo (meningococcal vaccine) hasn't been studied thoroughly in pregnant women, it's unclear whether it is safe for use. The FDA has assigned Menveo a pregnancy Category B rating, which means that it may be given to a pregnant woman if the benefits outweigh the risks. The best thing to do in this case is discuss your options with your healthcare provider.
Can Pregnant Women Receive Menveo?
Menveo® (meningococcal vaccine) is a vaccine approved to prevent invasive meningococcal disease. It is approved for use in individuals 2 months to 55 years old. At this time, it is uncertain whether Menveo is safe for use during pregnancy.
What Is Pregnancy Category B?
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 B is given to medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant humans but do not appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies.
Medications that have been shown to be safe for use in pregnancy in humans but have caused problems in laboratory animals are also given a Category B rating.
When pregnant rabbits were given large doses of Menveo in clinical studies, it did not increase the risk of any problems. However, it is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines the same way that humans do. Therefore, a pregnancy Category B medicine should be given to a pregnant woman only if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
In general, anyone who fits in the recommended groups for vaccination (such as people without a spleen) should receive Menveo, pregnant or not (for more information, see Menveo Uses). For such women, the risks of a serious meningococcal infection are probably greater than any risks from the vaccine.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccine information statement: meningococcal vaccines (01/28/08). CDC Web site. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-mening.pdf. Accessed February 23, 2010.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
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