What medications can I not take during my pregnancy?

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Taking some medications during pregnancy can lead to complications in the proper development of the fetus

Can I take medication during my pregnancy?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), taking some medications during pregnancy can be extremely harmful to the fetus, because by crossing the placenta these drugs expose the baby to substances that could be harmful for their proper development. Dr. Elkin Muñoz explained to ABC newspaper that "there is a large percentage of drugs that reach the fetus through the placenta, in the same way that oxygen and food do, which can harm the fetus' proper development and cause injuries or even death."

Leer en español: ¿Qué medicamentos no puedo tomar durante mi embarazo?

Then he added: "In the same way, they can influence the placenta, generating in the future baby problems such as low birth weight or lesser development. Another type of drugs, meanwhile, can cause premature births due to a contraction mechanism in the muscles of the uterus, hence the importance of dispensing with medication during pregnancy, except in cases where it is absolutely necessary for the good health of the mother. "

As it is known, the stage during which the fetus is more sensitive to the effect of drugs is during the first trimester, phase in which most of the organs begin their formation. However, this does not mean that mothers should suspend any type of medication prescribed by a specialist to cure a condition during pregnancy for fear of damaging the fetus, as this could be even more harmful to the health of both.

This is why several classifications have been created that indicate which medications are more or less safe during pregnancy. One of the most complete is that carried out by the Food and Drug Administration, in charge of the authorization and monitoring of medicines in the United States. This classification, according to inatal, groups the drugs into five categories from lowest to highest risk for the fetus:

  • Class A: they are considered safe in pregnancy because they do not represent a risk in the first trimester. Among them are vitamin B6, folic acid, calcium, potassium, ascorbic acid, iron and levothyroxine in prescribed doses.
  • Class B: refers to medications that are used frequently and do not represent serious birth defects and other damage to the fetus. Some of them are: ibuprofen, corticosteroids, acetaminophenol, aspartate, insulin, amoxicillin, clavulanic acid, and azithromycin.
  • Class C: there are harmful effects to the fetus and, according to ABC newspaper, they should be used only when the benefit can justify that risk. Some of them are: prochlorperazine, Amikacin, Atenolol, Beclomethasone, Betamethasone, Caffeine, Carbamazepine, Codeine and ciproflozacin.
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  • Class D: they can represent a risk to the fetus and are only recommended in a situation of risk for the mother. Among them are Acenocoumarol, Acetylsalicylic acid, Diazepam, Valproic, lithium, phenytoin, some chemotherapeutic agents and alcohol.
  • Class X: there is no benefit to the pregnant woman and their use during pregnancy is totally contraindicated. Some of them are: Isotretinoin Accutane, Misoprostol, Thalidomide, Raloxifene, Simvastatin or Nandrolone, among others.

Finally, although there are comments in favor of the use of natural medicines and herbs during pregnancy, there are not many studies that demonstrate their benefits. Therefore, it is important not to ingest any herbal product without first consulting your doctor or specialist, as they may contain agents that harm the mother and the developing fetus.

"What is clear is that any information and consultation related to the administration of medications must always be made to a specialist, avoiding self-diagnosis and self-medication, and even those neighbors, friends and family members prescribing on their own, based on in his own experience," concluded Dr. Muñoz.


LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez

Translated from "¿Puedo tomar medicamentos durante mi embarazo?

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