This sheet is about exposure to loxapine in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. This information should not take the place of medical care and advice from your healthcare provider.
What is loxapine?
Loxapine is a medication used to treat mental health conditions including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It can be taken by mouth, inhaled, or given as an injection. Brand names for loxapine include Loxitane® and Adasuve®.
I take loxapine. Can it make it harder for me to get pregnant?
Loxapine may increase the blood levels of a hormone called prolactin. Levels of prolactin that are higher than usual can cause irregular periods in some people, which might make it harder to get pregnant. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are having trouble getting pregnant.
I just found out I am pregnant. Should I stop taking loxapine?
Talk with your healthcare providers before making any changes to how you take your medication. The benefits of being treated need to be weighed against the lack of data on the use of loxapine in pregnancy and the risks of untreated illness. Untreated and undertreated mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia may increase the chance for pregnancy complications. If possible, people should discuss their medications with their healthcare providers before becoming pregnant.
Does taking loxapine increase the chance for miscarriage?
Miscarriage can occur in any pregnancy. Studies in humans have not been done to see if loxapine increases the chance for miscarriage.
Does taking loxapine increase the chance of birth defects?
Every pregnancy starts out with a 3-5% chance of having a birth defect. This is called the background risk. Studies in humans have not been done to see if loxapine increases the chance for birth defects above the background risk.
Could taking loxapine cause other pregnancy complications?
It is not known if loxapine can cause other pregnancy complications.
I need to take loxapine throughout my entire pregnancy. Will it cause symptoms in my baby after birth?
Some medications taken during pregnancy can cause symptoms in a newborn after delivery. These symptoms are sometimes referred to as “withdrawal”. It is unknown if taking loxapine will increase the chance of withdrawal symptoms in a newborn. Babies exposed to medications such as loxapine during late pregnancy may be monitored too much or too little muscle tone (stiff or floppy), sleepiness, agitation, problems with breathing and feeding, or unusual muscle movements (tremors). Not every newborn will have these symptoms. If they do, the symptoms usually go away in a few days.
Does taking loxapine in pregnancy cause long-term problems in behavior or learning for a child?
Studies in humans have not been done to see if loxapine can cause behavior or learning issues.
Can I breastfeed while taking loxapine?
Loxapine has been found to be passed into the milk of animals, but it is unknown if loxapine enters the breast milk of humans. There are no published studies looking at the possible risks of taking loxapine while breastfeeding. Because loxapine is a strong tranquilizer, children exposed to loxapine through breastmilk can be watched for sedation.
For many exposures, side effects in children who are breastfeeding are uncommon. When making choices about medication and breastfeeding, it’s important to consider the benefits of breastfeeding (for the person who is breastfeeding and the child) and possible negative effects (from the medication or the condition being treated). Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about all of your breastfeeding questions.
I loxapine. Can it make it harder for me to get my partner pregnant or increase the chance of birth defects?
There are no published studies looking at possible risks to a pregnancy when sperm is exposed to loxapine. However, some males using loxapine may have levels of the hormone prolactin that are higher than usual, which might cause problems with fertility. In general, exposures that males have are unlikely to increase the risks to a pregnancy. For more information, please see the MotherToBaby fact sheet Paternal Exposures at https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/paternal-exposures-pregnancy/.
National Pregnancy Registry for Psychiatric Medications: There is a pregnancy registry for people who take psychiatric medications, such as loxapine, during pregnancy. For more information you can look at their website: https://womensmentalhealth.org/research/pregnancyregistry/.
Please click here for references.
OTIS/MotherToBaby encourages inclusive and person-centered language. While our name still contains a reference to mothers, we are updating our resources with more inclusive terms. Use of the term mother or maternal refers to a person who is pregnant. Use of the term father or paternal refers to a person who contributes sperm.