Pregnancy and Medications

It can be hard to plan exactly when you will get pregnant, in order to avoid taking any medicine. Most of the time, medicine a pregnant woman is taking does not enter the fetus. But sometimes it can, causing damage or birth defects. The risk of damage being done to a fetus is the greatest in the first few weeks of pregnancy, when major organs are developing. But researchers also do not know if taking medicines during pregnancy also will have negative effects on the baby later.

Is it safe to take medicine while you are pregnant?

Many drugs that you can buy over-the-counter (OTC) without a prescription, and drugs your health care provider prescribes are thought to be safe to take during pregnancy, although there are no medicines that are proven to be absolutely safe when you are pregnant. Many of these products tell you on the label if they are thought to be safe during pregnancy. If you are not sure you can take an OTC product, ask your health care provider.

Some drugs are not safe to take during pregnancy. Even drugs prescribed to you by your health care provider before you became pregnant might be harmful to both you and the growing fetus during pregnancy. Make sure all of your health care providers know you are pregnant, and never take any drugs during pregnancy unless they tell you to.

Also, keep in mind that other things like caffeine, vitamins, and herbal teas and remedies can affect the growing fetus. Talk with your health care provider about cutting down on caffeine and the type of vitamins you need to take. Never use any herbal product without talking to your health care provider first.