Medcines and Drugs to Be Avoided During Pregnancy and Breast Feeding

Nov 13 14:30 2008 Ricky Hussey Print This Article

Adverse effects of drugs vary with the age of the unborn in the uterus. To know more about these, the nine months period of pregnancy can be divided into two phases:


Early Pregnancy: Formation of Embryo

From the start of the first trimester the cells of the fertilized ovum multiply rapidly to form an embryo,Guest Posting which after a period of 3 months, is called a foetus. In the early part of this phase ( up to 17 days) the teratogenic drugs (malformation-causing drugs) may kill the embryo.

Beyond this period, up to 55 days (period of organs formation) is the most vulnerable times when the drugs may cause teratogenic effects (physical defects or malformations). It has been estimated that the incidence is 1 to 2%, but it is not known as to how many of these are due to drugs. It is possible that besides the drugs used in a particular disease, the disease itself may be producing such effects.

Period of Growth and Development: 56th day onwards

During this period the teratogenic effects are unlikely to occur as the shape of the foetus is completely formed. Some drugs may inhibit the growth and functional development of its organs. For example, streptomycin may damage the developing ears; tetracyclines are deposited in the teeth and growing bones, and may affect the colour and shape of teeth and the growth of bones.

At full term, the liver of the foetus is not fully mature and can't synthesize vitamin K-dependent clotting factors. At this period anticoagulant drugs or large doses of aspirin may cause bleeding in the foetus, although the clotting time of the mother's blood may remain near normal.

In the foetus, many of the enzymes which metabolize the drugs are also not developed. For this reason drugs like barbiturates, morphine, pethidine or anaesthetics, given at the time of delivery, may cause long-lasting respiratory depression in the newborn baby.

The adverse effects caused by some important drugs during pregnancy are given below. The formulation of the preparation intended for a pregnant women need to be studied carefully. If it contains any of the following drugs, it would be safer to avoid or take in consultation with the doctor. It is a useful to remember, 'No drug is safe in pregnancy' . Since the list is not an exhaustive list, and safety of newer drugs remains to be ascertained, it is urged that nfor any drug prescribed, the readers should ensure the safety from prescriber before it is used during pregnancy.

Use of Drugs during Breast-feeding

Many drugs enter into human milk in very low concentrations so that suckling child is not harmed. However, a few drugs may pass into breast milk in quantities sufficient to harm the suckling infant. If the mother has to take medicine, and the medicine is relatively safe, she should take it 30-60 minutes after breast feeding or 2-4 hours before next feed. The intake of alcohol is not advisable during breast-feeding as it may affect the infant. If at all it is taken then the quanlity should be limited to bare minimum.

A number of antibiotics can be detected in breast milk. Tetracyclines are found in concentration of about 70% of the mother's blood level. So they may be avoided. Sedatives and sleepaids also can cause poor suckling and drowsiness in breast fed-infant. Other drugs with Possible effects on breast feeding infant are shown in table. It is recommended that these drugs should be taken under medical advise.

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Ricky Hussey
Ricky Hussey

AdvCare is one of the leading Canada pharmacy website. First established in January 2000, its mission is to become the number one site for Discount Drugs and Generic Prescription Drugs searches.

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