During pregnancy, medical professionals usually advise against taking medications. In fact, this recommendation is also issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, sometimes the expectant mother requires certain drugs to ensure her health during the gestation period.
Taking into account the above, it is important that you know which medications can be taken during pregnancy. It is also important that you consult with your doctor about the possibility or necessity of taking them, and avoid self-medication at all times.
Medications that can be taken during pregnancy
To protect pregnant women, drugs are not tested on them. However, some drugs have been used by women during pregnancy and for a long time, so they are already considered safe for use.
These drugs have been evaluated by health specialists and are considered safe for pregnant women:
- Acetaminophen for fever and pain.
- Some HIV medications.
- Certain allergy medications, such as loratadine and cetirizine.
- Specific medications for high blood pressure.
- Almost all asthma drugs.
- Certain medications for depression.
There are also some medications that have been evaluated and found to pose no risk to the fetus during the first trimester. Therefore, they are considered safe drugs for pregnancy:
- Folic acid
- Vitamin B6
- Ascorbic acid
- Levothyroxine in doses prescribed by the medical professional
Other medications that have been tested and can be used by pregnant women without any risk to the fetus are mentioned below:
- Amoxicillin is safe to use in pregnancy, although it is a strong antibiotic that will require the use of probiotics and may sometimes require additional treatment if it triggers candidiasis in the pregnant woman.
- Clavulanic acid
- Ibuprofen in pregnancy is best avoided after the thirty-second week of gestation.
This list of medicines is completely safe, and can be used during pregnancy. It has been proven that they do not cause serious or severe birth defects or any other harm to the fetus.
Medications that can be taken by pregnant women under strict medical supervision
This other group of drugs may cause harmful effects on the fetus, and should only be used when strictly necessary and when it is not possible to use any other drug considered safe, and under close medical supervision.
Normally these drugs are used when the mother’s health requires it:
- Anti-RH Immunoglobulin (D)
The drugs mentioned in this section represent a greater or lesser danger to the fetus, depending on the level of maturity of the fetus. However, experts point out that the most vulnerable period during pregnancy is between weeks three and eight.
Medications that cannot be taken during pregnancy
Among the large number of drugs on the market, some are considered harmful to the fetus and should be avoided at all costs. These drugs greatly increase the possibility of congenital or birth anomalies and other inconveniences to the fetus.
If there is a possibility of suffering problems due to the consumption of a medicine, it is better to know which ones you should avoid while you are pregnant.
- Bismuth subsalicylate
- Decongestants such as phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine. Drugs with these components among their ingredients should be avoided during the first trimester.
- You should also avoid taking medications containing guaifenesin. These medicines are taken to fight coughs and colds, it is not recommended that you take them during the first trimester.
- Isotretinoin is prescribed to treat acne, and has a high probability of generating congenital anomalies. Drugs such as these include Amnesteem and Claravis, which should be avoided by women who are pregnant or suspect they are pregnant. And even women of reproductive age who are being treated for acne with any of them should prevent pregnancy by using an effective contraceptive method.
- Benazepril and lisinopril act as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.
- Valproic acid among other drugs used to control seizures.
- Antibiotics such as doxycycline and tetracycline.
- Methotrexate sometimes used to treat arthritis.
- Warfarin helps prevent blood clots.
- Lithium used to treat bipolar depression.
- Both alprazolam and diazepam in pregnancy should be avoided, as well as other medications used to treat anxiety.
- Paroxetine used to treat depression and other conditions are also contraindicated for pregnant women.
- Chemotherapeutics (Bleomycin, Methotrexate)
There is another group of drugs that do not provide any benefit to the pregnant woman, but cause serious risks and malformations to the fetus or even its death or termination of pregnancy. In fact, these drugs are completely contraindicated for pregnant women:
- Isotretinoin Accutane
- Sinvastatin or Nandrolone
Other considerations about medications that can be taken during pregnancy
In addition to considering the drug lists already detailed, other points should also be taken into account in this regard.
For example, omeprazole pregnancy is not a suitable combination. This drug, as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antihypertensives and oral contraceptives, should be consulted with the physician and a safer or more appropriate alternative should be sought in case of being in treatment and seeking pregnancy at the same time, or knowing that you are pregnant you should inform the physician and always avoid self-medication.
In addition, the effects that some vaccines such as chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis and yellow fever can have on the fetus and placenta should not be overlooked. If you require any vaccinations for travel or wish to become pregnant and you have been recommended to be vaccinated, always ask your doctor.
In case you are planning a pregnancy and are taking pregnancy pills or using any treatment, the first thing you should do is talk to your doctor about any drugs you are taking.
Your doctor will tell you which medications you can take and at what time of pregnancy it is more convenient to take them, or if it is advisable to look for safer alternatives. Remember to avoid self-medication at all costs.