Even the most normal of pregnancies can send women to the medicine cabinet looking for relief from everyday symptoms. Morning sickness, headaches, constipation, backaches-many of these can easily be treated by over-the-counter or prescription medications. Before you were pregnant, there was probably no harm in taking a pill to alleviate everyday problems. But during pregnancy, you need to think twice before reaching for the nearest pill bottle since not all medications are safe for your baby.
Evaluating the Safety of Pregnancy Medications
When you start trying to get pregnant, or once you discover you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking. If you take a medicine that has not been proven safe for pregnancy, your doctor may be able to switch you to a different medication that is approved. If you take medication for something that is not life threatening, like mild seasonal allergies, your doctor may suggest that you discontinue taking it until after you deliver. This is also true of herbs and natural supplements. Just because they are made of natural ingredients, don't make them okay for your baby.
Many popular prescription drugs, like Ambien and Lexapro, have not been tested on pregnant women. Because they have not been on the market for very long, there is not enough evidence as to whether they are safe for pregnant women and their fetuses. If you need a prescription that has not been cleared for use during pregnancy, your doctor may still advise you to keep taking it if it provides a definite benefit that offsets the risk.