The rule about taking medicines during pregnancy is simple: Always ask your doctor first. That includes questions about prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. You should definitely not take some medicines. Most women take some kind of drug, substance or medication during pregnancy, sometimes without realising the potential for harm. Drugs or medication taken by the mother may cross the placenta and reach the developing fetus. The possible effects may include developmental delay, intellectual disability, birth defects miscarriage and stillbirth.
Below is a sampling of a few of the drugs that we know pregnant women should avoid.
Chloramphenicol is an antibiotic that’s usually given as an injection. This drug can cause serious blood disorders and gray baby syndrome.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
These are prescribed for hypertension or congestive heart failure, and can cause miscarriage or birth defects.
Pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine (Sudafed, DayQuil, Claritin-D), especially if taken during the first trimester, may cause stomach defects or affect blood flow to the placenta though some doctors will recommend in limited amounts in the second and third trimesters.
Arthrotec (diclofenac sodium/misoprostol)
It is used for joint pain due to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Arthrotec contains diclofenac and misoprostol which can cause abortion, premature birth, or birth defects.
Sulfonamides are a group of antibiotic medications. They’re also known as sulfa drugs. The majority of these types of drugs are used to kill germs and treat bacterial infections. They can cause jaundice in newborns. Sulfonamides may also increase the chances of having a miscarriage.
Avoid these aromatherapy essential oils: Calamus, mugwort, pennyroyal, sage, wintergreen, basil, hyssop, myrrh, marjoram, and thyme. When in doubt about any medication, supplement, or therapy, ask your health care provider before taking or using it.
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