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 use—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
|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|
|Lithium||Congenital heart disease|
|Phenytoin (Dilantin)||Growth retardation, mental retardation, microcephaly|
|Streptomycin||Hearing loss, cranial-nerve damage|
|Tetracycline||Hypoplasia of tooth enamel, discoloration of permanent teeth|
|Thalidomide||Severe limb defects|
|Trimethadione||Cleft lip, cleft palate, growth retardation, miscarriage|
|Valproic acid||Neural-tube defects|