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Pregnancy Topics..

You are here : home > Pregnancy > The Normal Pregnancy > Harmful Medications

Harmful Medications

Pregnancy is a time to take extra caution when it comes to medications as they can have risks of harming your baby. Learn about the risks associated with taking over-the-counter medicines during pregnancy.

Ideally, when you are pregnant, you must avoid all sorts of medications to keep the risks of harming your baby at bay. Again, it becomes very difficult to stop all medications if you are suffering from a chronic or acute disease.

Most medications cross the placenta, enter the baby's blood stream and are harmful to the baby.  Therefore, it is very important to consult your medical practitioner before taking any medicines, including innocuous painkiller, anti-acids, etc.

Taking Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicines during Pregnancy

Doctors generally suggest avoiding the over the counter medications and those labelled as "harmful" during pregnancy to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Over the counter medications (OTC) such as aspirin are known to increase risks of foetal bleeding. Whether you need medications for diabetes, asthma, infections, headaches or cold, it is always better to avoid these OTC drugs and consult your obstetrician so that he or she can prescribe the medicines which are safe during pregnancy.

How to Avoid Taking Medicines during Pregnancy

Here are few remedies which you can follow to avoid taking medicines for health ailments during pregnancy.

You can try some of the non-drug measures such as exercises, meditation, gentle massage, a warm shower or a brisk walk. These can help reduce your headache and stress. Again, if you have cold, steam inhalation or considering a bowl of hot chicken soup can do wonders.

It is important to avoid multi symptom allergy and cold medicines.

Reading labels is a must. Ingredients like caffeine and alcohol can appear in some of the most unexpected places. CVS Aspirin-Free Tension Headache for example does not contain aspirin, but has caffeine in it. However, to be on a safer side, you must never take any medicine without consulting your obstetrician.

Why Some Medications are Harmful for the Growing Foetus

You need to be very careful particularly in the first few months of your pregnancy. This is the time when the foetus remains highly vulnerable. Any chemical that passes into the embryo through your blood stream can prove to be exceptionally dangerous for the baby growing inside you.

Pregnancy is one such time when you cannot take chances and need to be extra careful. Medications that have side effects when taken by adults can prove to be fatal for the foetus. Potentially harmful medications can even slow down the process of development in a baby. In extreme cases you cannot rule out the possibilities of malformations as well.

You should opt for medical treatment only when it tends to get life threatening or when your child's health seems to be in danger. Medications can be continued only with permission from your doctor. If you are thinking of self treatment, it is a complete "no-no" at this stage.

FDA's Pregnancy Drugs:

Here are lists of FDA’s pregnancy drugs.
  1. Category A: Prenatal vitamins included in this category do not have any evidence of foetal risk. However, your doctor shall prescribe the right dose.

  2. Category B: Even though there have been no experiments on human foetus, medicines falling under this category are not known to pose any risk to animal foetus.

  3. Category C: There is no adequate information about how safe these medicines are on human or animal foetus. There are no data available on any adverse effects. However, most of the medications that pregnant women use (as prescribed by obstetrician) are categorised under this section.

  4. Category D: There are evidences of foetal risk in the medicines included in this category. However, the benefits are known to outweigh the associated risks.

  5. Category X: Medicines in this category are said to be potentially dangerous for the foetus. When you think of taking an over the counter medicine, it is important to know the category into which it falls.
As discussed above, it is always better to not go for non-medical techniques of relaxation when you have any discomforts. Unless absolutely necessary, it will be wise to stay away from any sorts of medication in course of your pregnancy and breastfeeding. Since you will want nothing but the best for the little life developing inside, it is worth taking the pain and always report to your obstetrician if you are coping with any discomfort. Your obstetrician is the best person to help you cope with the aches and pains of pregnancy with an ease.

Which medications can pregnant women take safely? What are risks associated with taking over-the-counter medicines during pregnancy? What are alternatives to medicines for common problems during pregnancy? Discuss here.

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Old Wives Tales
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.5 years ago
my wife is one month pregnant.she was on anti-depressants from the last five yrs. now doctor has strictly forbidden to take such medicines.but she really needs atleast one at etirest 0.5 mg safe during pregnancy?
Aarti.9 years ago
it is a very informative article.
jkhfdjhas.9 years ago
my god, ever since i got pregnant, the only thing i have on my mind is sex! i find that really wierd, becasue i was not really that much into it before. my hormones seem to have got the better of me. now i am in the mood more than my hubby, and he is really ofcourse very happy about it...lets see how long this lasts.
COnfou.9 years ago
hi i am 22 yr boy.
actually i was having very much misconceptions about sex. but after visiting this site 90% of my misconceptions are gone...really its required to have sex education in india. i like the work started.
Bharat.9 years ago
can i come in my wife knowing she is pregnant?
vivek.9 years ago
i have gone through after pregnancy is really very informative .thax a lot
butterflt.9 years ago
its so beneficial
seema.9 years ago
it is very useful.
yuji.9 years ago
travelling during first month
hhuu.9 years ago
is homeopathy medicines for acidity is benificial or harmful?
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