Pregnancy and Medicines
- Is it safe to use medicine while I am pregnant?
- How should I decide whether to use a medicine while I am pregnant?
- Where do doctors and nurses find out about using medicines during pregnancy?
- How do prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicine labels help my doctor choose the right medicine for me when I am pregnant?
- What if I'm thinking about getting pregnant?
- Is it safe to use medicine while I am trying to become pregnant?
- What if I get sick and need to use medicine while I am pregnant?
- I have a health problem. Should I stop using my medicine while I am pregnant?
- Are vitamins safe for me while I am pregnant?
- Are herbal remedies or natural products safe for me when I am pregnant?
- In the future, will there be better ways to know if medicines are safe to use during pregnancy?
- For more information
Is it safe to use medicine while I am pregnant?
There is no clear-cut answer to this question. Before you start or stop any medicine, it is always best to speak with the doctor who is caring for you while you are pregnant. Read on to learn about deciding to use medicine while pregnant.
How should I decide whether to use a medicine while I am pregnant?
When deciding whether or not to use a medicine in pregnancy, you and your doctor need to talk about the medicine's benefits and risks.
- Benefits: what are the good things the medicine can do for me and my growing baby (fetus)?
- Risks: what are the ways the medicine might harm me or my growing baby (fetus)?
There may be times during pregnancy when using medicine is a choice. Some of the medicine choices you and your doctor make while you are pregnant may differ from the choices you make when you are not pregnant. For example, if you get a cold, you may decide to "live with" your stuffy nose instead of using the "stuffy nose" medicine you use when you are not pregnant.
Other times, using medicine is not a choice - it is needed. Some women need to use medicines while they are pregnant. Sometimes, women need medicine for a few days or a couple of weeks to treat a problem like a bladder infection or strep throat. Other women need to use medicine every day to control long-term health problems like asthma, diabetes, depression, or seizures. Also, some women have a pregnancy problem that needs medicine treatment. These problems include severe nausea and vomiting, earlier pregnancy losses, or preterm labor.
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