what medications are safe during pregnancy?

(July 7, 2010)

Safe Medications During Pregnancy

While there are some medications that are safe to be consumed there are other medications that are extremely harmful to the baby and its development if consumed during pregnancy. Hence all medication should be consumed only if they are prescribed by the doctor and no self medication should be done. Many doctors will prescribe prenatal vitamins to the pregnant women that are safe to consume but any other commercially available vitamin supplements and herbal remedies or preparations should not be consumed during pregnancy. Considering the risk of consuming inappropriate medication during pregnancy, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has categorized all the medications in a ranking system. In this system, Category A medications are those that have demonstrated no fetal risk when tested in controlled human studies and so it is generally agreed that these medications are safe during pregnancy. Category B medications are those that have been tested on animals and not humans but have not shown any adverse effects to the fetus. Category C medications are those that have not adequately been studied in humans or animals or those that have been studied on animals and have shown adverse effects on the fetus in animals. Category D medications according to the FDA are those medications that have shown some evidence of fetal risk but the benefits of these medications outweigh their risks.

Finally category X medicines are those that have shown significant fetal risks and these risks outweigh the benefits. There are some pregnant women who think that natural medications can be safely consumed during pregnancy to gain relief from pregnancy symptoms such as backache and nausea. However before taking any of these alternative therapies the doctor needs to be notified as some of these natural supplements may adversely affect the baby. Some safe natural products that may be consumed to alleviate the symptoms of nausea during the first trimester of pregnancy include eating some ginger. Pregnant women can also eat some saltine crackers first thing in the morning to prevent the onset of vomiting or nausea as these crackers will ensure that they do not remain undernourished or hungry during pregnancy. Oral supplements such as wormwood, licorice, black cohosh and cascara are known to cause birth defects and even result in early labor and hence should not be consumed by pregnant women. Similarly aromatherapy essential oils should also be avoided as they may have certain chemicals that may get absorbed into the skin and into the blood stream and then affect the baby adversely.

Submitted by P T on July 7, 2010 at 02:15

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