Monday, 9 May 2011

Medications During Pregnancy

It is important to recognize that taking any drug during pregnancy has risks.
The first law of medicine being do no harm means that your Doctor will weigh
the benefits of you using a particular medication against the possible results
of not taking it.

You may like to bookmark this page for future reference.

Medications are catagorised alphabetically.

A-class = No proven direct or indirect harmful effects to the foetus
B1-class = Studies in animals have shown no evidence of increased foetal risk.
B2-class = Studies in animals are inadequate, but the data shows that there is
no evidence of increased foetal risk.
B3-class Studies in animals have shown that evidence of increased foetal damage
but the significance in human's is uncertain.
C-class = May cause harmful effects to the foetus but not malformations. These
effects may be reversible.

Many of the household medications that you have in your medicine is not
recommended for use in pregnancy - if you have any doubts you should call
your local pharmacist or Doctor before using them.

Antibiotics
Sometimes, they just can't be avoided. Be sure to inform your Doctor that you
are pregnant or have been trying to conceive so that he/she can provide you
with the best option.

Amoxycillin = A-class
Generically known as: Alphamox, Amoxil, Cilamox, Fisamox, Moxacin.
Augmentin, Clavulin

Tetracycllines = D-class (not to be used in pregnancy, breastfeeding or in chidren))
Generically known as: Achromycin, Mysteclin, Tetrex, Myysteclin

Hayfever & Allergies (Antihistamines)
Some cough mixtures, travel tablets, hayfever and anti-nausea medications
contain antihistamines. In general these should be avoided however your
Doctor or Pharmacist will be able to direct you towards the newer and safer
products on the market.

Asthma
If you have been diagnosed in the past with asthma - perhaps ever years
ago - then you need to let your Doctor know during your pre-conception
check up or at your first appointment after conception. The specific numbers vary,
however most experts can agree that for one third of asthmatic women their
condition will get worse. For other women, it can actually improve!

Ventolin & Becotide are both A-class drugs (that's a thumbs up). However, you
should discuss asthma with your Doctor as you may need to adjust your dose
or change medication. Women who suffer from severe asthma during pregnancy
are at a higher risk of having severe morning sickness, a pre-term (premature)
baby or a baby with a low birth weight so it is vital that you stick to your regime
and keep your asthma under control.

So....what about breastfeeding? In most cases breastfeeding is absolutely
encouraged however it is something you will need to discuss with your Doctor.

Mild Pain
Nearly all expectant Mothers feel the need for pain relief throughout the
pregnancy...sometimes everyday. Pregnancy is an enormous stress to the
body - there's stretching ligaments and aching backs, sciatica, dehydration
headaches and the list goes on...and on...and on! It's good to remember, that if you
wouldn't give it to a child then you shouldn't take it during pregnancy.
Panadol (paracetamol) = A-class
Asprin = C-class. Not to be used in pregnancy unless medically essential.
Breastfeeding should be ceased.
Ibuprophen = C-class

Asprin has too many names to mention - it belongs to the NSAID's family
which should be avoided in pregnancy whenever possible. In some cases
(if you are at high risk of blood clots) your Doctor may in fact prescribe them.
This is a matter of the benefits outweighing the dangers and you should absolutely
follow you Doctor's instructions.

Ibuprophen is also a NSAID and as such should be avoided wherever possible.
Women who take NSAID's during early in pregnancy have been found to have
a higher risk of miscarriage. When taken late in pregnancy, Asprin is also
suspected of delaying labour. NSAID's have been linked to a lower birth weight
and other significant health problems. There is some debate over whether or
not taking Asprin increases the chances of placental abruption (a life threatening
complication in which the placenta breaks away from the uterine wall.

Inoculations
Are possible depending on the type of immunization - live vaccines such as
Rubella (or German Measles) and mumps should not be administered during
pregnancy and stalled until after breastfeeding has ceased. You should double
check your status with your Doctor at your pre-conception appointment to make sure you are up to date.

The bottom line is that before taking any medications you should seek the advice of your Pharmacist or Doctor. The information found in here is for informative purposes only - it is not intended to replace the advice from you health care professionals.

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