May 25, 2017

Which Medications Are Safe To Take While Pregnant?

Which Medications Are Safe To Take While Pregnant?

We spend much effort to preserve and incubate these bundles of promises. Joy of pregnancy can be subdued, especially when Mother-to-be is not feeling well. Standing in a pharmacy, surrounded by magnitudes of medications. A common question we are asked is which medications are safe to take while pregnant? Obviously, the benefits should always outweigh the risks. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Category A is reserved for medications demonstrated to afford no risk. Pregnancy Category B is given to medicines that have not been studied extensively in pregnant humans and do not appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies. It is also given to medications that cause apparent problems in pregnant animals but have been shown to be safe in human studies. Category C is afforded to medications that may produce harm and are to be taken only if the benefits outweigh risk hazards. Category D drugs demonstrate positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans. However, potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks. Lastly Category X are teratogenic. Animal and or human studies demonstrate fetal abnormalities and positive evidence (investigational and marketing) demonstrate the risk is far greater than the benefit.

Pregnancy Category A medicines are safe. Pregnancy Category B medicine should be given to a pregnant woman only if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child. Pregnancy Category C medications are with consultation of physician; Categories D and X are not recommended.

Always consult your physician if you have any questions on if a medication is safe to take beforehand. Contact us, we can help!

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Danielle Vitiello, Ph.D., M.D. Board-Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility