Research shows difficulty determining which medicines are safe for pregnant women

by Missy Jaramillo

Research shows difficulty determining which medicines are safe for pregnant women

With pregnancy comes a slew of changes to your body that you'll need to be aware of over the course of nine months. For instance, it may no longer be advisable for you to take certain over-the-counter medicines to treat small ailments such as headaches and joint pain. Various ingredients in OTC​ drugs can negatively impact baby development, but are you aware of which ones pose a threat to your unborn child? 

A new study shows that it may be more difficult than originally thought to identify which medicines are safe for mother and child during pregnancy, according to the Associated Press. Researchers looked at two lists created for pregnant women who want to verify which ones are acceptable to take while expecting. The results showed that no two lists were the same, and each list referred to different products as riskier than others.

"The reality is that for most of the medications, it's not that they're safe or not that's the concern," Cheryl Broussard, a representative from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and study author, told the news source. "The concern is that we just don't know."

While prescription medications can be just as dangerous, there are a few that expectant mothers are advised to keep taking until told otherwise by their physicians. For example, quitting epilepsy medication or antidepressants on a whim can be a threat to well-being.

Medications and pregnancy
If this is your first pregnancy, chances are, you aren't completely familiar with how medications can affect your unborn child. For this reason, the U.S. National Library of Medicine states that it's critical to speak to your primary care provider for more information regarding everything from prescriptions to OTC​ drugs while you're pregnant. While talking to a medical expert, you'll assess the risks and benefits of taking medicine during the nine months. Together, you can come to a decision on what's best for you and your child.

Keep in mind that recommendations vary on a case-by-case basis. The amount of medication you take as well as previous health conditions will influence your doctor's advice, according to the CDC. In some instances, continuing medication may be necessary to ensure the well-being of the fetus.

Have you decided to stop taking medications while pregnant in the past? Do you continue to use OTC​ drugs during your nine months? Leave your feedback in the comments section!