Medicines That Should Avoid During Pregnancy

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Pregnancy is no cakewalk. There are a thousand places you need to be cautious at. Even a small wrong step might bring about devastation. Everyone knows that the use of medications during pregnancy should be as minimal as possible. However it is usually difficult to strict to this protocol given the fact that women do face a lot of medical conditions wherein use of drugs becomes mandatory. Here is a list of commonly taken medications which might cause severe damage to the fetus.


1.    Painkillers- Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, Naproxen

These are the most commonly taken over the counter drugs. The routinely administered brufen and ibugesic tablets are known to contain ibuprofen. Researchers have shown that women who consume ibuprofen even in minute amounts of ibuprofen have a doubled risk of miscarriage. In fact any of these pain killers have shown to be associated with chances of miscarriages. The safer option is Paracetamol or Acetaminophen, which is effective for mild to moderate pain.


2.    Antibiotics

When it comes to antibiotics, their use becomes relative depending on the time of pregnancy. Some are supposed to be avoided throughout, while others are to be avoided during specific time period. Antibiotics to be avoided throughout the pregnancy include Streptomycin, Tetra cyclines. Following are the antibiotics which can be prescribed relatively safely- Amoxicillin, Clindamycin, Azithromycin, Erythromycin, Penicillin, Cephalexin.


3.    Anti allergic Medications

Pruritus or itching occurs commonly during pregnancy for a number of reasons. It is believed that allergies occur in almost 20-30% women in pregnancy. As much as possible, the itch should be managed using topical medications. If however medication has to be taken, then efforts should be made to go for Pheniramine (Avil), which can be taken throughout pregnancy. This is considered to be the safest during pregnancy. Other drugs like Loratadine or Cetrizine should be avoided in the first trimester. If you are taking these medications, you should make it a point to increase your fluid intake substantially.


4.    Anti acne medications

Usually Isotretinoin is prescribed for acne. This drug has been known to cause a number of birth defects in humans including face abnormalities and malfunction in the nervous, cardiovascular and endocrine systems. Thus it is not advisable to take any form of acne treatments while you are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant. Even the local application on acne should be used with caution and never without doctor’s consent.


5.      Thalidomide

In 1950s and 60s, this particular drug was used to treat nausea in pregnant women, which resulted in major birth defects in a lot of children. Still Thalidomide is used for treatment of certain ailments. However its use in pregnancy is severely censured. Effects of this drug include defects in limbs, lungs, genitalia, kidney, eyesight, hearing and heart.


6.    Nicotine

Nicotine in any form from smoking to nicotine patch is absolutely contraindicated in pregnancy. There are a number of effects of nicotine on maternal and fetal health ranging from preeclampsia to premature birth of baby. There are no alternatives which can be used instead of nicotine. Strictly abstaining from it is the best way out.


7.    Antifungal Medication

Usage of Fluconazole which is commonly prescribed as an antifungal medication has been shown to cause severe birth defects as severe as cleft lip and palate, along with cardiovascular disorders. Fluconazole belongs to the category D of the five categories of drugs in pregnancy. The D signifies that although there is risk to the developing fetus however in situations of life threatening emergencies, its use is permitted.


These are only a few of the commonly used medications in pregnancy, the uage of which is condemned. There are many more. To avoid any ill effects of medications, make sure you do not take any of the medications without  consent from a registered doctor.

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