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For all medication-round fills, except diabetic equipment and supplies (see RXNAME), PREGCAT reports the FDA pregnancy category that a drug has been assigned. PREGCAT is assigned using the Multum Lexicon database (for more information about the Multum Lexicon database, see the following section).

From 1979-2015, the FDA classified medications into five categories based on the level of potential risk they posed to a fetus during pregnancy. These categories were used by clinicians and researchers to determine how safe a medication was for use during pregnancy and lactation. Beginning in 2015, the FDA adopted a new system called the Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling Rule (PLLR). PREGCAT is based on the older classification system used from 1979-2015. MEPS does not currently provide the PLLR classification system. For more information about how medications are classified using these systems, please see FDA Pregnancy Categories and Pregnancy Medications.

PREGCAT is on the prescribed medication-round fill record (or "medication-round fill record," see RECTYPE for more details on the different record types in IPUMS MEPS). Variables offered on the medication-round fill record through IPUMS MEPS are derived from the prescribed medicines file provided by AHRQ. Please see our overview of the event, medical conditions, and prescribed medicines variables, including how those variables are offered through IPUMS MEPS, and general considerations to keep in mind when conducting analyses using these variables.

IPUMS MEPS reports the universe for each variable based on a thorough review of the original MEPS documentation. Investigating the data may reveal cases that do not meet the stated universe. Users are encouraged to validate universes for their analyses.

Multum Lexicon Variables

Cerner Multum, Inc. develops the Multum Lexicon database that MEPS uses to classify drugs reported by respondents in the MEPS-HC. Each drug is assigned a pregnancy category (PREGCAT), a Multum drug name (RXDRGNAM), and one or more therapeutic class, sub-class, and sub-sub-class designations (see MULTC1 for more information about the Multum Lexicon variables).

Users using the Multum Lexicon variables should cite Multum Lexicon, AHRQ, and IPUMS MEPS as the data sources.

Codes and Frequencies

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There are no comparability issues.


  • 1996-2021: All medication-round fills, except diabetic equipment and supplies (see RXNAME).


  • 1996-2021



This variable has no flags.