Is it safe to take medicines during pregnancy?

Parentree-editors 2008-08-25 12:25:45

Short answer: You should always check with your doctor as to what medicines are safe to take, when, and in what dosage during your pregnancy.

Many times, women do not have a choice and really need to use medicines while they are pregnant. You should discuss regular medicines you have to take with your doctor. This should be done during your pre-pregnancy checkup and during your first visit to the doctor after becoming pregnant.

Sometimes, women need medicines for a few days or a couple of weeks to treat a problem like a bladder infection or strep throat. Other women need to use medicines every day to control long-term health problems like asthma, diabetes, depression, seizures or high blood pressure. Many women might have pregnancy related problems like severe nausea and vomiting,

Sometimes, common ailments like fever cold etc. get unbearable and come in the way of your being healthy.  Talk to your doctor. It’s best to know about the right medicines to take during pregnancy to help you with common pregnancy discomforts like nausea, headaches, backaches, constipation or common ailments like cold, fever, flu, loose motions etc. early on. This way you will not need to worry and you will be prepared when the time comes.

For everyday ailments like fever, colds etc., many over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can be used during pregnancy after you obtain your doctor's approval. In general, paracetamol  (also called acetaminophen) is safe during pregnancy - for example brands like, Crocin or CalPol.  But always check with your doctor about the medicines that are safe, the dosage and your specific circumstances (other medicines you are taking, the degree of your problem, which stage of pregnancy you are in etc.).

A few medicines are known to be unsafe. Aspirin is one medicine  that should be avoided in the last three months of pregnancy. In 1990, the Food and Drug Administration of the United States issued a warning that it is especially important not to use aspirin during the last trimester of pregnancy unless specifically directed to do so by a doctor because it may cause problems in the unborn child or complications like bleeding during delivery.  Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen are also not advised especially in the last trimester.  In the last few months, check with your doctor as to what medicines you should take for your backaches etc.

Also, check with your doctor if you are taking any alternative supplements or medicines.

Some alternatives to medicines:

  • If you have the flu or the cold, try and beat the flu with common herbal remedies like herbal teas with ginger, lots of garlic in soup, drink lots of fluids especially hot fluids, and get plenty of rest.
  • “Wait out” a cold instead of resorting to your cold medicine.


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