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You are here: Home -> Medications and Treatments -> Prescription and Nonprescription Medications during Pregnancy Today: Tuesday, October 24
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Prescription and Nonprescription Medications during Pregnancy

Prescription Medications

Discuss all medications (prescription and over-the-counter) you take on a regular basis at your first prenatal visit. This is an extremely important part of your prenatal care. You may need to have your dosage adjusted, you may have to stop taking a particular substance, or certain conditions may require additional medication.
Thyroid medication. It's important to continue taking your thyroid medication throughout your pregnancy. Be sure your doctor knows what you take. Thyroid hormone is made in the thyroid gland. This hormone affects your entire body and is important in your metabolism. Thyroid hormone is also important in your ability to get pregnant. Don't stop taking or change your dose of thyroid hormone without talking with your doctor.
Thyroxin (medication for low thyroid or hypothyroid) is safe to take during pregnancy.
Propylthiouracil (high-thyroid or hyperthyroid medication) passes to the baby; you will probably be given the lowest amount possible during your pregnancy.
Lupus medication. The medication used to treat lupus is steroids; the primary steroid given is prednisone. Many studies have been done on the safety of prednisone during pregnancy, and it has been found to be safe.
Prozac™. Studies indicate Prozac is safe for use during pregnancy.
Skin medication. Accutane® (retinoic acid isotretinoin) is a common treatment for acne. However, pregnant women must nor take it! There is a higher frequency of miscarriage and malformation of the fetus if a woman takes Accutane during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Tetracycline, also commonly used to treat acne, should not be taken during pregnancy because it can cause discoloration of your baby's permanent teeth later in life. (For that reason, tetracycline must not be prescribed for any child under age 8.)
Any type of medication you use can get into your bloodstream and could be passed to your baby. Retin-A, which some women use on their skin, should be avoided during pregnancy because we do not know its effects on the fetus at this time.

Nonprescription or Over-the-Counter Medications

Although they do not require a prescription, over-the-counter (OTC) medications should be taken with care during pregnancy. Many OTCs contain aspirin, caffeine or phenacetin—all should be avoided during pregnancy. Limit your use of cough syrups, which may contain as much as 25% alcohol.
Be careful with medications containing ibuprofen, such as Advil®, Motrin® and Rufen®. Avoid newer medicines, such as Aleve® and Orudis®, until we know more about them and their safety in pregnancy. Read package labels and ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking anything.
Any type of medication you use can get into your bloodstream and could be passed to your baby.
Safe nonprescription preparations. OTC medications that are safe include acetaminophen (Tylenol), some antacids (Amphojel, Gelusil, Maalox, milk of magnesia), throat lozenges (Sucrets®), some decongestants (Sudafed®) and some cough medicines (Robitussin®).
Aspirin. Almost any medication you take when you are pregnant passes to your baby or has some effect on your pregnancy. Discuss aspirin use with your doctor.
Medications and Treatments Articles:
Vitamin Usage during Pregnancy | Prescription and Nonprescription Medications during Pregnancy | Can Birth-control Methods Affect Pregnancy? | Immunizations and Vaccinations in Pregnancy
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