Pregnancy and Medication


Taking medication during pregnancy is not the same as taking medication during normal days. Pregnant female should be extra careful since there is a developing fetus inside the womb. Certain medications can affect the baby well-being and development. Some medication may be toxic for the baby, especially during first trimester.  This also applies for herbal medications and supplements.

Some females are taking medications for certain medical condition. Pregnancy may require adjustment or even discontinuation of these medications due to the impact to the baby. Physicians who prescribe the medication and take care of your health should be notified promptly as soon as you find out that you are expecting or planning to be pregnant. Notifying early is the best, even letting your health care provider that you are planning to be pregnant, since the effect of these medications already taking place before you know that you are pregnant. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies medication into several different categories, which is very useful as guidelines for medication use in pregnancy. There are five different categories, as listed on the table below:

Category Description
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drugs in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use of the drug in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.

When you know you are pregnant, you should notify your physician of what medications you are taking including over the counter (OTC) medications, herbal remedies and supplements. It is better to be safe than sorry for your precious ones, since little mistakes can cause long-term impacts to your beloved ones.

Prenatal vitamins are recommended and safe for consumption during pregnancy. List of food to avoid during pregnancy can be read here: Food to avoid during pregnancy

Always consult your physician if you have any questions or health-related concerns!

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