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Pregnancy Medication Safety

by Leigh Reason
  • Overview

    One of the biggest questions pregnant women ask of other mothers or their health care provider is, What is safe to ingest while carrying a child? The good news is, most doctors have a list of medication do's and don'ts that you'll receive at your first prenatal visit. Good prenatal care is paramount in delivering a healthy baby. Before taking any kind of medication, run it by your Ob/Gyn or health care provider to make sure it's safe.
    Pregnancy Medication Safety
    Pregnancy Medication Safety
  • Pain Relief

    For all pain relief, including common pregnancy ailments such as headaches and back pain, acetaminophen is the safest choice per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. If you popped an aspirin or two or an Advil early in your pregnancy, don't fret. It is especially important to avoid aspirin and ibuprofen in the last stages of pregnancy (naproxen shouldn't be taken at all). Aspirin can hinder fetal growth and can actually prolong pregnancy and labor. It also interferes with blood-clotting so it can cause hemorrhaging during delivery or bleeding issues in your baby. Ibuprofen can cause similar problems. The main exception is for women at high risk for preeclampsia who are sometimes given low-dose aspirin therapy.
  • Antibiotics

    According to the medical experts at babycenter.com, there are three classes of antibiotics that are considered safe during pregnancy; they are penicillins (such as amoxicillin and ampicillin), cephalosporins and erythromycin (often in the form of a Z pack). Pregnant women are routinely checked for Group B streptococcus in the first trimester, and since 25 percent test positive, penicillin is commonly prescribed. There are some risks associated with most other classes of antibiotics and the benefit should outweigh the risks based on consultation with your doctor.
  • Herbal Remedies

    Many herbal supplements have not been thoroughly tested to know whether they are safe or not, in addition they are not regulated by the FDA. Before considering an herbal remedy for discomforts like sleeplessness or nausea, make sure to discuss its safety with your doctor or midwife.
  • Antidepressants

    Depression can hinder your ability to take proper care of yourself during pregnancy. The use of antidepressants may be the only solution. Consult with your doctor and psychiatrist for the best course of action. The use of SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) such as Celexa, Prozac and Zoloft, tricyclics such as Amitriptyline and Nortriptyline and Wellbutrin are considered safe options, according to the Mayo Clinic.
  • Stomach Pain and Nause Relief

    The term morning sickness can be a misnomer; nausea can last all day and night, plus it can last throughout your whole pregnancy. Vitamin B6 is both safe and helpful to curb nausea. If heartburn, reflux and gas ail you, Tums and Gas-X are both safe, as are Zantac and Pepcid AC.
  • Cough and Cold Relief

    Being sick with a cold during pregnancy can be a drag, but there is some relief available. Robitussin, Sudafed, cough drops and Vick's Vapor Rub are all safe ways to control cough and cold symptoms.

    References & Resources