Medication during Pregnancy

  • There are a number of occasions during pregnancy that you might have to take medicines.
    You are aware of Iron and Folic acid supplements in Pregnancy which are essential and tetanus vaccine is administered compulsorily in countries like India, because of poor methods of delivery.

    Do ask your doctor about the medications you are taking before you have become pregnant, how it affects the fetus during pregnancy. During the first trimester, drugs may produce congenital malformations (teratogenesis); the greatest risk is between the third and the eleventh week of pregnancy. All drugs should be avoided, if possible, during the first trimester. Drugs are prescribed for a pregnant woman only if the expected benefits to her are thought to be greater than the risk to the fetus.

    He/she can be a bit stubborn and demanding, and may start crying when things don't go his/her way. Don't lose your cool or try reasoning with him/her, your baby is still too young to understand. Be patient and comfort him/her, this phase will pass even before you realize it.

  • If you have to take a medication while you are pregnant, always confirm that it is safe by speaking to your doctor about it. The questions you can ask are:

    1. Colds are Acute URTI [upper respiratory tract infections] caused by a group of viruses.
    2. They are transmitted by air when an infected person coughs/sneezes or by hand contact.
    3. Signs are cough, running nose, red eyes, discomfort [baby is irritable] and decreased appetite.
    4. They are most often self limiting- that is they are cured with no need for major medications.
    5. Steam inhalation and hot packs can help provide relief.
    6. If your baby has high fever/bad cough/greenish mucus/wheeze/ breathing difficulty / feeding poorly see your pediatrician immediately.

  • The common drugs that are to be avoided in pregnancy are listed here, and it doesn't mean that the drugs not listed here are safe. Be very cautious while using multiple medicines.

    Name of Drug (Brand names)
    Why it should be avoided
    Isotretinoin ( Isotroin, Octoret)
    Acne vulgaris
    Fetal abnormalities
    Alprazolam (Restyl, Trika, Anxit)
    Not used for fetal safety
    Coumadin , Warfarin ( Sofarin, Warf)
    Blood thinners
    Fetal abnormalities
    Chloramphenicol (Achloral, Actimycetin)
    Antibiotic used rarely orally, eye and ear drops are common
    It should not be used orally in third trimester because of Grey baby syndrome.
    Statins (Atocor, Liptor)nbsp;
    Cholesterol lowering agents
    Liver abnormalities
    Anti hypertensive's like ACE inhibitors, Losartans
    To lower blood pressure
    Fetal risk, Beta blockers like ATEN is avoided in second and third trimesters of Pregnancy.
    Antiepileptic (Valium, Epsolin, Tegretol)
    Seizure disorders
    They are used cautiously though out pregnancy; only a slight human risk has been found.
    Radioactive Iodine( I 131)
    Used in hyperthyroidism
    It is considered to be most unsafe to the fetus of the entire anti thyroid medications.
    Leuprolide (GnRH agonists like Progtase)
    Ovulation induction
    Dangerous to the fetus.
    Oral hypoglycemic like Metformin( Diamet, glynase)
    Used for diabetics
    Cause the fetal hypoglycemia also
    Proton pump inhibitors( Omez, Pantocid )
    Used for heart burn
    Generally Not advised during pregnancy
    Oral contraceptives and estrogen supplements
    Various medical conditions
    It may cause termination of the pregnancy
    Anti-inflammatory agents (Diclomol, Brufen, Nise)
    Pain killers
    Avoid in third trimester however paracetamol is safe all throughout.

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