Probenecid in pregnancy and breastfeeding


Risk Factor: C
Class: Miscellaneous

Contents of this page:
Fetal Risk Summary
Breast Feeding Summary

Fetal Risk Summary

No reports linking the use of probenecid with congenital defects have been located. Probenecid has been used during pregnancy without producing adverse effects in the fetus or in the infant (1,2 and 3). The manufacturer reports that the drug crosses the placenta and appears in cord blood (4).

In a surveillance study of Michigan Medicaid recipients involving 229,101 completed pregnancies conducted between 1985 and 1992, 339 newborns had been exposed to probenecid during the 1st trimester (F. Rosa, personal communication, FDA, 1993). A total of 17 (5.0%) major birth defects were observed (14 expected). Specific data were available for six defect categories, including (observed/expected) 5/3 cardiovascular defects, 1/1 oral clefts, 0/0 spina bifida, 1/1 polydactyly, 0/1 limb reduction defects, and 1/1 hypospadias. These data do not support an association between the drug and congenital defects.

Breast Feeding Summary

No reports describing the use of probenecid during lactation have been located. The molecular weight (about 286) is low enough, however, that excretion into breast milk should be expected. The effects on a nursing infant from exposure to the drug in breast milk are unknown.



  1. Beidleman B. Treatment of chronic hypoparathyroidism with probenecid. Metabolism 1958;7:6908.
  2. Lee FI, Loeffler FE. Gout and pregnancy. J Obstet Gynaecol Br Commonw 1962;69:299.
  3. Batt RE, Cirksena WJ, Lebhertz TB. Gout and salt-wasting renal disease during pregnancy. Diagnosis, management and follow-up. JAMA 1963;186:8358.
  4. Product information. Benemid. Merck, 2000.

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