Medications pregnant women should avoid Medications pregnant women should avoid

Medications pregnant women should avoid

For her 23 November, 2017 Maria Clara Restrepo E.


Not all medications or treatments are appropriate for babies during pregnancy.

In fact, the World Health Organization recommends not taking any medication during this time.

If the woman already has certain conditions or if she is diagnosed with a disease during the pregnancy, however, she may need to use medications. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the following groups of drugs, pose the greatest health risk to mothers and their babies.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs should be avoided during the last trimester of pregnancy. Because they dilate the blood vessels, they can affect the blood flow to the fetus. This group of medications includes ibuprofen, naproxen and diclofenac.

Statins. Well-known throughout the world for their ability to lower cholesterol, statins are advised against during pregnancy as they can lead to birth defects in the trachea, esophagus and heart of the developing baby. You may be interested in reading Early symptoms of pregnancy. 

Antihypertensives. The use of some of these medications is associated with birth defects in babies’ kidneys. To manage this condition in the expecting mother, she should be assessed by the pharmacist, and if necessary, the medication should be replaced with others such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

Cortisone. These have negative effects on the fetus. They should only be used when the benefit is worth the risk.

Contraceptives. There is no scientific evidence of a relationship between the use of birth control pills during the first trimester of pregnancy and a risk of birth defects. They may be harmful, however, later on in the pregnancy.

In any case, the recommendation is to get the advice of a specialist.