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medications while pregnant

medications while pregnant2010-07-05T20:40:34+00:00

The Forums Forums Medication medications while pregnant

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    My fiance and I are having the talk about when to start a family and how many (i said if we survive the first then we’ll talk LOL), and we are trying to do some research first as far as medications while pregnant.

    I have some knowledge about teratogens, and from what I’ve been able to find, a lot of people have gone off of their meds while pregnant. A lot isn’t known on effects of these meds while expecting, but what has been noticed is low birth weight and early delivery.

    If there are Drs on here, are there any prescriptions that are a bit safer than others? Any patterns you have observed?

    Has anyone been told they could be on meds while preggo? If so, what effects did you find?

    Has anyone gone off of their meds to be pregnant? what was your experience like? How long did you wait til you went back on?


    Post count: 44

    I am not pregnant/have not been pregnant yet, but my understanding is that a *really* careful cost-benefit analysis (like with antidepressants) is recommended, and that one should try to go off meds if possible. The difficulty is that, for obvious reasons, there is great reluctance/it is viewed as unethical to conduct clinical trials of drugs on women who are pregnant. The website http://www.womenshealth.gov (U.S. site) gives the following answers in their FAQs:

    Is it safe to use medicine while I am pregnant?

    There is no clear-cut answer to this question. Before you start or stop any medicine, it is always best to speak with the doctor who is caring for you while you are pregnant. Read on to learn about deciding to use medicine while pregnant.

    Where do doctors and nurses find out about using medicines during pregnancy?

    Doctors and nurses get information from medicine labels and packages, textbooks, and research journals. They also share knowledge with other doctors and nurses and talk to the people who make and sell medicines.

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the part of our country’s government that controls the medicines that can and can’t be sold in the United States. The FDA lets a company sell a medicine in the United States if it is safe to use and works for a certain health problem. Companies that make medicines usually have to show FDA doctors and scientists whether birth defects or other problems occur in baby animals when the medicine is given to pregnant animals. Most of the time, drugs are not studied in pregnant women.

    The FDA works with the drug companies to make clear and complete medicine labels. But in most cases, there is not much information about how a medicine affects pregnant women and their growing babies. Many prescription medicine labels include the results of studies done in pregnant animals. But a medicine does not always affect growing humans and animals in the same way. Here is an example:

    A medicine is given to pregnant rats. If the medicine causes problems in some of the rat babies, it may or may not cause problems in human babies. If there are no problems in the rat babies, it does not prove that the medicine will not cause problems in human babies.

    The FDA asks for studies in two different kinds of animals. This improves the chance that the studies can predict what may happen in pregnant women and their babies.

    There is a lot that FDA doctors and scientists do not know about using medicine during pregnancy. In a perfect world, every medicine label would include helpful information about the medicine’s effects on pregnant women and their growing babies. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

    Prescription Medicines

    The FDA chooses a medicine’s letter category based on what is known about the medicine when used in pregnant women and animals.


    In human studies, pregnant women used the medicine and their babies did not have any problems related to using the medicine.

    * Folic acid

    * Levothyroxine (thyroid hormone medicine)


    In humans, there are no good studies. But in animal studies, pregnant animals received the medicine, and the babies did not show any problems related to the medicine.


    In animal studies, pregnant animals received the medicine, and some babies had problems. But in human studies, pregnant women used the medicine and their babies did not have any problems related to using the medicine.

    * Some antibiotics like amoxicillin.

    * Zofran (ondansetron) for nausea

    * Glucophage (metformin) for diabetes

    * Some insulins used to treat diabetes such as regular and NPH insulin.


    In humans, there are no good studies. In animals, pregnant animals treated with the medicine had some babies with problems. However, sometimes the medicine may still help the human mothers and babies more than it might harm.


    No animal studies have been done, and there are no good studies in pregnant women.

    * Diflucan (fluconazole) for yeast infections

    * Ventolin (albuterol) for asthma

    * Zoloft (sertraline) and Prozac (fluoxetine) for depression


    Studies in humans and other reports show that when pregnant women use the medicine, some babies are born with problems related to the medicine. However, in some serious situations, the medicine may still help the mother and the baby more than it might harm.

    * Paxil (paroxetine) for depression

    * Lithium for bipolar disorder

    * Dilantin (phenytoin) for epileptic seizures

    * Some cancer chemotherapy


    Studies or reports in humans or animals show that mothers using the medicine during pregnancy may have babies with problems related to the medicine. There are no situations where the medicine can help the mother or baby enough to make the risk of problems worth it. These medicines should never be used by pregnant women.

    * Accutane (isotretinoin) for cystic acne

    * Thalomid (thalidomide) for a type of skin disease

    *Note from purlgurl = Ritalin is considered to be C, as are Adderall, Concerta, and Vyvanse. Ritalin has apparently caused birth defects when given to pregant rats and rabbits.


    Post count: 14413

    thank you so much purlgirl! that was a lot and helped quite a bit! I’ll be definitely be doing more digging on there and talking with my dr about it. I dunno where you are , but I’ve found in my experiences that it is a society of “learn on your own time” kinda deal- of if you really want to know about a medication and the effects it has, you have to research it yourself. Yeah, you get the little printouts from the pharmacy, but it only gives you the little coles notes version. I was originally given a diagnosis of depression and at one time put on Paxil- it wasn’t til after I was feeling at my worst and went off of it that i found out people were trying to put a black box label on it to warn it had severe effects.

    I never knew how they went about determining that with the effect on an embryo/fetus- that was actually quite reassuring to learn about the procedure with the animal testing (although a little sad about having to have an animal go through it , but it has to be done to be safe) and how they determine with the offspring affected by the drug.

    I know that I wouldn’t be able to function as well as i could with my meds if i had to go off of them and it is a huge thing for a family and spouse to take on as well- I’m wondering if women who do have adhd and want to become pregnant whether they take a maternity leave at different times, or even leave for a time and return after going back on meds and having everything situated at home?

    I guess I feel a bit frustrated at the same time- I mean I feel a great deal of relief of having a diagnosis and learning how to manage my symptoms, and it has actually given me many gifts. I just feel though it’s also causing such a problem of i have to chose whether to be completely “out of it” for 9+ months to have a baby, or not have a baby of my own but stay mentally balanced. My heart aches at the thought of having to make that choice.

    On top of that, giving my then husband not only the responsibility of looking after a pregnant wife, but a chronically-confused-and-pregnant wife. And with it kinda given it’s a hereditary thing, having to deal with a spouse with ADD but also a kid? Any Dads out there that are going through or have gone through this?


    Post count: 14413


    this is the definitive site and the world’s largest database for medication problems in pregnancy.

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