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Are prescription drugs harmful to an unborn fetus?

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They might be. It's necessary to monitor intake of prescription drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) medications if you are pregnant. However, because it's unethical to test drugs on pregnant women, the effects of many drugs during pregnancy simply aren't known.

Pharmaceutical companies are required to report any problems with medications to the FDA. You and your doctor can also report problems with a medication to the FDA. The FDA has guidelines for drug companies to follow in labeling medications about their effect on pregnancy and the growing fetus. By reading the product information, you can learn more about how the medication may affect your pregnancy.

The FDA requires drug companies to conduct special studies called pregnancy registries. Women who take a certain medication may enroll in the study. After delivery, their babies are compared to babies of moms who didn't take the medication during pregnancy. When the data is compiled, these studies can help agencies monitor the effects of medications after they are made available.

Some women must take drugs during pregnancy. They may need to take them for pain or for a serious condition such as asthma, epilepsy, hypertension or depression. If you are concerned about using a prescription or over-the-counter medication during pregnancy, talk with your doctor and get more information about the drug's safety.

From: Drug Use and Pregnancy WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - National Survey on Drug Use and Health, September 2014.

National Toxicology Program: "Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR)."

March of Dimes: "Illicit Drug Use During Pregnancy."

Medline Plus: "Pregnancy and Substance Abuse."

CDC: "Smoking Early In Pregnancy Raises Risks Of Heart Defects In Newborns."

FDA: "Pregnancy and the Drug Dilemma."

National Toxicology Program: "Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR)."

Bruce, D, PhD. Ballantine Books, 2000. Making a Baby: Everything You Need to Know to Get Pregnant,

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on February 06, 2019

SOURCES:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - National Survey on Drug Use and Health, September 2014.

National Toxicology Program: "Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR)."

March of Dimes: "Illicit Drug Use During Pregnancy."

Medline Plus: "Pregnancy and Substance Abuse."

CDC: "Smoking Early In Pregnancy Raises Risks Of Heart Defects In Newborns."

FDA: "Pregnancy and the Drug Dilemma."

National Toxicology Program: "Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR)."

Bruce, D, PhD. Ballantine Books, 2000. Making a Baby: Everything You Need to Know to Get Pregnant,

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on February 06, 2019

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How many pregnant women abuse drugs each year?

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