Which Medications Are Safe During Pregnancy?

which medications are safe during pregnancy

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Medication and pregnancy go hand in hand. There will be many medicines you will be prescribed by your doctor to take during pregnancy. But in no case should you decide to take any medicine on your own.

In case of any ailment or medical condition that requires you to take certain medicines, you must discuss with your doctor as to how can this particular medicine benefits you and your growing baby in your womb. At the same time, it is necessary to consider the risk factors that can harm your or possess any potential threat for your growing baby.

OTC – A Complete No-No:

Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you will realize that those over the counter (OTC) medicines which you consumed earlier are not safer now, without your doctor’s nod.

  • Some of these medicines which were ‘okay’ before may not work the same way now, since your body is not the same as before. Do not take any risks, and always consult your doctor.
  • You might notice, on top of certain medication’s packaging or label, a disclaimer or assurance saying that it will not affect pregnant women harmfully. Even then, you should not take it without your doctor’s approval.
  • Moreover, when you get prescription from any other doctor, make sure to inform them about your pregnancy. He might then prescribe as per the requirement.

When To Take Help Of Drugs And Medication During Pregnancy?

It is a rare scenario, that during the nine months of pregnancy you remain disease free or are not affected by any ailment. So when you are down with any illness, you might have two situations as mentioned below:

1. When Medication Is By Choice:

In many cases, medicines may not be necessary to get rid of the ailment. During pregnancy you should avoid taking medicines in such cases.

  • If you are suffering from cold, avoid taking the usual drugs that you consumed before you were pregnant.
  • In such a scenario, opt for alternative methods to soothe its suffering like drinking more warm fluids and taking lot of rest.

2. When Medication Is The Only Option:

Though in theory you may be asked to avoid certain medication (and you should rightfully do so) but in some cases, medicine intake may become necessary.

  • If you are suffering from urine infection, then the only way to treat it is through medication. If not treated it can cause complications in pregnancy. Same goes with some kind of viral or bacterial infection.
  • Thus in this scenario, a doctor will prescribe you medicines which do not affect your fetus.

Important Aspects of Drugs During Pregnancy:

Always remember, that during nine months you have to keep a good track on your health. That comprises both healthy diet and medications. Here is a small guide on what and when medication is required and what precautions you must consider before deciding on which medicines are safe during pregnancy.

1. In The Nascent Stage Of Pregnancy:

When you are trying to conceive your baby, you may not know when exactly you got pregnant. It is normally after a fortnight that you get the confirmed good news!

  • In such cases even while you are not pregnant but trying, as much as possible you should avoid consuming medicines without consulting your doctor.
  • This is because, the first month of pregnancy is very important – It is only in these initial days that your baby will develop bones, brain, etc.
  • During this time your doctor will recommend you to consume folic acid tablets to avoid any birth defects in your baby.

2. Vitamin Supplements And Tablets:

When you get pregnant, your doctor will prescribe various multivitamin tablets which are necessary for you and your baby

  • If you were taking any vitamin tablets before conceiving you should inform your doctor about that.
  • In most cases, he will ask to discontinue that and prescribe another one.
  • In pregnant women the dosage of vitamin tablets should be high as compared to normal women.

3. Medication During Digestion Problems:

Certain problems related to digestion like constipation, hemorrhoids etc. are very common during pregnancy. But you should not take any over the counter medicines for them.

  • You can prevent such conditions by drinking plenty of water and consuming fibre rich foods only.
  • In case of prolonged constipation, you doctor will give you multi fibre laxative to ease the problem of indigestion

4. Pain Relief Medications:

Headaches or muscle ache can increase your discomfort during pregnancy. Still, you must avoid aspiring and other pain relieving medicines like ibuprofen.

  • Try home remedies like herbal balms or topical salves.
  • When your pain becomes unbearable your doctor might prescribe safe drugs to take during pregnancy.
  • If you take non-prescription and OTC medicine, there are chances of miscarriage, so do take care.

5. Ongoing Health Problems:

You might be facing a health problem even before you got pregnant.

  • In such a case, discuss with doctor before stopping the medicine on your own
  • Cases like depression, asthma, diabetes, etc., should not be taken lightly during pregnancy and stopping its medication can have grave circumstances.
  • To deal with this situation, the best solution is to take proper guidance from your doctor.

6. Vaccines And Immunizations:

Vaccines are takes as a preventive measure against a certain kind of disease.

  • Still, many vaccines pose a threat to mother as well as the baby’s health.
  • Before giving you any vaccine, your doctor should confirm your chances of being affected by that illness is it harmful for the fetus or it is completely safe.
  • Only after being satisfied about its safety, you should opt for vaccinations.

7. Myth Of Herbal Medicines:

Perhaps the elders in your family might persuade you to consume some herbal medications, saying that it has no harmful side effects.

  • If you believe that herbal medicines are safe as it is natural, then you should reconsider your thoughts.
  • Many herbal medicines have been found to be harmful during pregnancy.
  • So if at all you were using any herbal medicine previously, asks your doctor to verify its utility for you.

8. Alternative Therapies:

Sometimes certain alternative medications other than allopathy can be beneficial during pregnancy. But again it should not be tried without properly weighing its pros and cons with a doctor.

  • Certain practices of acupressure and acupuncture can be helpful in curing nausea in early stages of pregnancy.
  • Also Chiropractic manipulation is helpful for back problems.
  • Yoga meditation, relaxation, hypnotism are also suggested in some cases.

So, remember that no drug can be considered 100% safe to consume during pregnancy. Always get an approving nod from your doctor to start consuming any medication.

We hope this article will be helpful for you during pregnancy and serve as guide on what to consume and what medicines to avoid when pregnant.

Do share with us if you have an idea of other ways to deal with ailments during pregnancy.

References : 1 , 2 , 3


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