Drugs in Pregnancy

We seem to have forgotten as a society that drugs pose risks - Dr. Allen A. Mitchell

Drugs in Pregnancy

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Too Many Pills in Pregnancy

The thalidomide disaster of the early 1960s left thousands of babies with deformed limbs because their mothers innocently took a sleeping pill thought to be safe during pregnancy,

In its well-publicized wake, countless pregnant women avoided all medications, fearing that any drug they took could jeopardize their babies’ development.

I was terrified in December 1968 when, during the first weeks of my pregnancy, I developed double pneumonia and was treated with antibiotics and codeine. Before swallowing a single dose, I called my obstetrician, who told me to take what was prescribed, “reassuring” me that if I died of pneumonia I wouldn’t have a baby at all.

In the decades…

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 Too Many Pills in Pregnancy

Now, however, the latest findings about drug use during pregnancy have ignited new concerns among experts who monitor the effects of medications on the developing fetus and pregnancy itself. During the last 30 years, use of prescription drugs during the first trimester of pregnancy, when fetal organs are forming, has grown by more than 60 percent.


The experts behind MotherToBaby have created fact sheets that answer frequently asked questions about exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding. MotherToBaby Fact Sheets are available in both English and Spanish and can be downloaded for free. Currently available fact sheets are listed below by category of exposure. All medications are listed by generic name. The generic name can be found on your prescription or medication packaging listed as the Active Ingredient, or in parentheses after the medication’s brand name.

Drugs In Pregnancy

The FDA has categorized the potential teratogenic risk of medications by an A, B, C, D, X system.

Medications that Are Safe during Pregnancy

Women who are between four and 12 weeks pregnant may safely take the following over-the-counter medications. Follow all directions on the container for adult dosage/use.

Treating for Two

Women and healthcare providers don’t have enough information to answer questions about medications and pregnancy. Treating for Two is CDC’s prescription for this problem. Treating for Two aims to improve the health of women and babies by working to identify the safest treatment options for the management of common conditions before and during pregnancy.

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