As exciting as it may sound, pregnancy can be overwhelming and downright confusing.
Almost every expectant mother is well aware of the basics of pregnancy: eat healthy food, stay active, avoid consumption of drugs and alcohol, and refrain from smoking. But did you know a vital part of a healthy pregnancy is being cautious when it comes to taking medicines?
Often, like most expectant mothers, you may be tempted to pop over-the-counter medicines out of habit to cope with nausea, headache, backache, morning sickness, and so on. Nevertheless, let us tell you that OTC medicines can have ill effects on your developing child.
Only a few pregnant women know that medications consumed during the period reach the unborn baby by crossing the placenta. When that happens, the risk of non-genetic birth abnormalities is high, especially in the first trimester.
Because no drug has ever been tested on expectant women, scientists believe that no medication is 100% safe during pregnancy. While most are harmless, you should always consult your doctor before consuming any medicine to be on the safe side.
That said, this guide will walk you through some medicines that pregnant women should avoid, according to experts.
6 Medicines to Avoid During Pregnancy
Contrary to popular belief, over-the-counter medicines or drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration aren’t always safe for consumption by pregnant women.
Though the science is limited, only a handful of drugs are considered harmful for women expecting a baby. Below we’ve mentioned a few drugs that are believed to pose a threat to the well-being of the unborn child. Let’s check them out.
Until a few years ago, studies indicated that Tylenol, also known as acetaminophen, was safe for use during pregnancy. But a few healthcare providers and scientists have found Tylenol to be associated with abnormal development of the fetus.
More than two dozen studies suggest that exposure to Tylenol can result in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Cerebral palsy, delayed talking, and autism are other developmental issues that are associated with Tylenol use during pregnancy.
Some studies believe that one out of seven children wouldn’t have been diagnosed with autism if they weren’t exposed to Tylenol in utero. Since this information came to light, tens of thousands of women have filed a Tylenol lawsuit against the manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson.
However, lawyers of a law firm, TorHoerman Law, state that lawsuits can also be filed against Walmart, CVS, Walgreen, and other pharmacies that sell acetaminophen. According to them, individuals qualify for compensation even if they consumed generic acetaminophen.
In order to win fair compensation, you need to have sufficient evidence that proves exposure to prenatal Tylenol has led to a neurological disorder in your child.
Absorica (isotretinoin) is a prescription medicine that is used in the treatment of nodular acne or severe cystic acne. Usually, this medicine is used when other treatments, such as clindamycin or benzoyl peroxide, cease to respond to acne.
Pregnant women must refrain from consuming Absorica because prenatal exposure to it can harm their babies. Consumption of Absorica can result in birth deformities, miscarriage, premature birth, and death.
Another drugstore medicine that is considered unsafe for pregnant women is Migranal.
This ergot alkaloid, dihydroergotamine mesylate, is most commonly used for the treatment of migraine headache attacks. What’s lesser known is that it is oxytocic, meaning Migranal increases the uterine tone and causes uterine contractions. As such, it may speed up labor, so avoiding it will be the best bet.
More often than not, Lupron is found in the medicine box of women suffering from uterine fibroids and endometriosis. Lupron injection contains leuprolide acetate, which is considered unsafe for pregnant women.
Besides increasing the risk of fetal abnormalities, this medicine can lead to spontaneous abortion. For this reason, women of childbearing potential must refrain from consuming this medicine.
Belonging to the class of drugs known as antimalarials, Primaquine is used in the treatment and prevention of malaria. Though specifically designed for malaria, it is used for treating pneumocystis pneumonia.
Based on the findings in animal studies, several scientists conclude that Primaquine is unsafe for pregnant women as it can damage the blood cells of the developing fetus.
Ibuprofen, an over-the-counter medicine, relieves inflammation, pain, and fever. However, this non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug can result in serious complications if consumed by pregnant women.
Necrotizing enterocolitis, jaundice, premature fetal ductus arteriosus closure, and oligohydramnios, to name a few, are some side effects of prenatal exposure to Ibuprofen.
The Bottom Line
Pains, aches, illnesses, and injuries do not go away when you’re pregnant; rather, they intensify.
As a result, you may turn to medicine that may alleviate pain and ease pregnancy symptoms. While some medicines shouldn’t be consumed during gestation, others must be taken in moderation. Otherwise, they may harm your unborn child.
Because pregnancy is the most critical period of a woman’s life, you should always consult your doctor before taking any medicine. After all, prevention is better than cure.
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