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Profender and pregnant women.

Species: Cat
Breed: Tabby
Age: 5-8 years
Hi there Dr. Marie

This isn't a direct question about an animal but I'm wondering if you can help.

I'm currently in the very early stages of pregnancy after a miscarriage earlier this year so I've been trying to do everything right.

anyway today I was applying a topical wormer (profender) to my cat and despite asking someone to hold him I got a little of the solution on my skin which I immediately washed. Having read online (my vet just gave me the solution no instructions) I see that it is marked as dangerous to pregnant woman!! Do you think that a small amount which was washed off quickly would do any harm?

Many Thanks.



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Congrats on your pregnancy! I have just had a baby myself. She is now 7 weeks old. And I was in a similar boat to you having had a miscarriage in early pregnancy before as well. I understand your concerns.

I had to do some research for you to determine why they say that pregnant women should avoid contact with this drug.

First of all, if you washed it immediately then this risk is extremely small. It would have to be absorbed to get into your system.

I found this research article on praziquantel in pregnant women:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15251403

It sounds like they were using it to treat women in Sudan who had a particular type of parasite. The results of the study were that the praziquantel had no effect on the pregnancy. And these women would have had much higher dosages than what you possibly could have received.

The other drug in profender is emodepside. Here is some information that I found helpful:

http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/EPAR_-_Scientific_Discussion/veterinary/000097/WC500063849.pdf

What I found was that pregnant rats who received high doses of this drug had significant birth defects in their offspring. However, the dosage had to be high. When they talked about its use in pregnant cats, here is what they said,

"a single time point administration of the test
product during pregnancy is likely to be well tolerated in the target species, and that the risk of
reproductive toxicity to end users is low
"

The study also said the following:

"“Although the product was
well tolerated by pregnant cats, studies performed in rats and rabbits suggest that emodepside may
interfere with embryo-foetal development. Therefore, women of child-bearing potential should avoid
contact with, or wear disposable gloves when administering the product”
"

I would interpret all of this to say that the risk to a pregnant woman is really really low. And given that you washed off the product you should be absolutely fine.

Because there have not been any studies done directly on humans and this drug they can't say for certain whether there is a risk. If there is even a tiny possibility of risk then they need to put this on the label in order to cover themselves legally.

Now, with all of this being said, I am not a human physician. I would recommend contacting your physician to ask this question.

I know when I was pregnant I worried about an awful lot of things that I shouldn't have worried about. Realistically, if pregnant women who got some of this on their skin were really in danger of having babies with birth defects then the drug would be so quickly pulled off the market.

I hope this has eased your mind. I pray that your pregnancy goes well!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.