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Medication and Pregnancy: Can They Mix?

By HERWriter Blogger
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Pregnancy related image Photo: Getty Images

Inevitably during the precious 40 weeks that is pregnancy, a mom-to-be will get sick. Perhaps it’s a head cold from changing weather or maybe a stomach virus her toddler brought home from preschool. Or maybe it’s a long-term health condition that typically requires medication.

It doesn’t really matter what type of sickness a pregnant mom has, but rather how quickly she can bounce back and get back to doing all the things she normally does. But what medications can she take to help shorten a cold or flu or even just help her muddle through the symptoms of a specific health condition?

Are there any medications that are safe for pregnant women and their fetus? Are there some to avoid at all costs? Read on!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested talking to a medical professional before taking any medication, prescription or over-the-counter, as well as dietary, herbal and vitamin supplements.

The CDC said that the United States does not have enough information about the effects of many medicines on pregnant women because it is customary to exclude pregnant women in drug test trials due to potential harm to the fetus. Pregnant animals are sometimes used in testing but that doesn’t always give accurate results as it relates back to women.

There are some medications though which pregnant women should not take at any cost. The drugs thalidomide (also known as Thalomid) a chemotherapy medicine, and isotretinoin (also known as Accutane), an acne medicine, are two such examples. Both can cause extreme birth defects and have life-threatening results with as little as one dose.

For most medicines, however, the effects aren’t as clear-cut. The CDC said the effects medicines have a on pregnant women depend on a variety of factors including:

• The amount of medication taken
• The period during the pregnancy in which the medication was taken
• Other health conditions a mom-to-be might have
• Other medications a mom-to-be takes

While it is true that some medication can harm a pregnant mother or her unborn baby, there are other medications that are considered safe.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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