August 23, 2016
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Pregnancy Planning (Preparing for Pregnancy) (cont.)

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Do medications need to be stopped when planning pregnancy or when a woman becomes pregnant?

Part of pregnancy planning involves attention to underlying or pre-existing medical conditions that may affect a woman's pregnancy. Women who take regular medications should review their medication schedule (including any over-the-counter medications or supplements) with their doctor when planning to conceive. Some medications may be harmful to the fetus, while other drugs are safe for pregnant women. It may be necessary to discontinue certain medications or change to alternate medications in some cases. For example, the acne medication isotretinoin (Accutane) has been shown to cause birth defects in the fetus.

In some cases the effects of a particular medication may be unclear in pregnant women. In these cases a decision must be made regarding the necessity of the medication for the mother's health versus possible or unknown risks to the fetus.

Women taking oral contraceptives who become pregnant are not believed to be at any increased risk for poor outcomes, although the oral contraceptives should be discontinued immediately.

It is safe for women who become ill during pregnancy to be treated with many medications; however, some medications, including some antibiotics and pain relief medicines, may not be recommended for pregnant women. It is important if you require medication to tell your doctor that you may be pregnant or are trying to conceive.


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Air Travel During Pregnancy.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Pregnancy.

FDA. Fish: What Pregnant Women and Parents Should Know. June 2014.

Medscape. Common Pregnancy Complaints and Questions.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Zika Virus." Jan. 26, 2016. <>.

United States. Pan American Health Organization. "Zika Virus Infection." <>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/12/2016


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