List of Safe and Unsafe Medicines During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a special time for a woman. Many changes happen to her body, and these changes can affect how medicines work.
For example, a pregnant woman’s stomach becomes less acidic and slower, which can affect how medicines are absorbed.
Her blood volume also increases, which changes how medicines are distributed in her body. Some hormones in pregnancy can affect how the liver processes medicines, and the kidneys work differently too.
Most medicines don’t need major dose changes during pregnancy. However, the placenta allows things, including medicines, to pass from the mother to the growing baby.
This means that some medicines can affect the baby’s development, especially during the first trimester. The risk depends on the specific medicine.
How Medicines are Categorised
The FDA has a system to categorize medicines for pregnancy:
- Category A: These are safe to use in pregnancy, like vitamins.
- Category B: These are generally safe, but there may not be enough human studies.
- Category C: These may have caused issues in animal studies, and there aren’t enough human studies.
- Category D: These have known risks to the baby, but sometimes they are used in serious situations.
- Category X: These are not safe during pregnancy and are not recommended.
You can access a comprehensive list of safe and unsafe medicines during pregnancy summarised in the PDF file provided below.
NOTE: It’s important to talk to a doctor when using medicines during pregnancy to weigh the benefits and risks for both the mother and the baby.