A lot of restrictions come with pregnancy. For an expectant mother, choices become narrow from the foods that she is supposed to eat; down to the things her body can only allow her to accomplish. But amongst the many limitations, the most important one that a pregnant woman must seriously abide throughout the course of her pregnancy is her access to medications.
Although it’s true that no drug is free of side effects, there are some drugs which have particular adverse effects on the baby you are conceiving. Known as teratogenic drugs, they disturb normal fetal development, causing considerable congenital malformations, as well as other pregnancy complications. And because not all medications have been tested for teratogenic side effects, the effects of these untested medications on your unborn baby are still unknown.
Hence, the general rule is: You should not take any medication unless it is necessary and prescribed by your doctor. All medications, including your maintenance medications (e.g. anti-hypertensive, anti-diabetic, and anti-asthma drugs), should be cleared for use during pregnancy by your physician. Your physician will weigh the benefits and the risks, and will make necessary changes like perhaps dose adjustments or replacing your medication with the safer ones.
Here are some of the medications which are considered safe to take during pregnancy when taken according to the package directions.
• Analgesics (for pain relief) —– Acetaminophen
• Antipyretic (for fever) —– Acetaminophen
• Antiemetics (for vomiting) —– Metoclopramide, Meclizine
• Anti-histamine (for allergy) —- Chlorpheniramine
• Antacids (for hyperacidity/heartburn) —– Aluminum Magnesium Hydroxide
• Anti-diarhheal —— Loperamide, Kaolin Pectin, Attapulgite
• Miscellaneous —— Prenatal Vitamins, Ferrous sulfate, Folic acid Potassium
• Topical Anti-fungal (for yeast infection) —– Clotrimazole, Miconazole
• Antibiotics —— Penicillins, Amoxicillin, Ampicillin, Cephalosporins, Co-amoxiclav, Erythromycin, Oxacillin
• Anti-diabetic —— Insulin
• Anti-convulsant —– Magnesium sulfate
• Thyroid preparation —– Levothyroxine
It is best to always ask your physician about the safety of anything that you intend to take in. Even alternative medicines, herbal remedies, and other supplements which may seem risk-free could have deleterious effects to your baby. The reason is that most of these herbal medications and supplements, which we believe are natural products, have not been tested for their safety and effectiveness in non pregnant women, much less in pregnant women.