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You are here: Home -> Medications and Treatments Today: Friday, June 14
Pregnancy Topics
Preparing for Pregnancy
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Medications and Treatments
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Prescription and Nonprescription Medications during Pregnancy
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Immunizations and Vaccinations in Pregnancy
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Changes in Your Baby
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Single Mother-to-Be
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After Your Baby's Birth
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Medications and Treatments

One of the most important pieces of advice I can give you during pregnancy is to be extremely careful about any medications you use. By "medications," I mean prescriptions your doctor may write for you and over-the-counter preparations, vitamins, minerals and herbs. Any of these substances may affect a developing baby. What may seem like only a little to you could pass through the placenta to your developing fetus.
If possible, discuss the medications you must take for medical conditions before you get pregnant. If you were unable to do this, discuss all medications (prescription and over-the-counter) you take on a regular basis at your first visit. Dosages may need to be adjusted, or you may have to stop taking a particular substance. However, never stop taking any medication you need for a chronic problem without consulting your doctor first! Some medication cannot and should not be stopped during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor before making any decisions about medication use.
Various medications you take affect the developing baby.
Be extremely careful about any medications you useā€”not only prescriptions your doctor may write for you, but also over-the-counter preparations, vitamins, minerals and herbs. Any of these substances may affect a developing baby.

Possible Effects of Some Medications on the Fetus

MedicationPossible Effects
Androgens (male hormones)Ambiguous genital development (depends on dose given and time when given)
Anticoagulants (warfarin)Bone and hand abnormalities, intrauterine-growth retardation, central-nervous-system abnormalities, eye abnormalities
Antithyroid drugs (propylthiouracil, iodide, methimazole)Hypothyroidism, fetal goiter
Chemotherapeutic drugs (methotrexate, aminopterin)Increased risk of miscarriage
Isotretinoin (Accutane)Increased miscarriage rate, nervous-system defects, facial defects, cleft palate
LithiumCongenital heart disease
Phenytoin (Dilantin)Growth retardation, mental retardation, microcephaly
StreptomycinHearing loss, cranial-nerve damage
TetracyclineHypoplasia of tooth enamel, discoloration of permanent teeth
ThalidomideSevere limb defects
TrimethadioneCleft lip, cleft palate, growth retardation, miscarriage
Valproic acidNeural-tube defects
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