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Medication during pregnancy: What's safe to take?

Baltimore Times Staff | 7/17/2013, 6 a.m.
Pregnancy is a time of excitement and joy, but it can also be an anxious, frustrating time if a mom-to ...
Dispose of medications properly, as soon as the course of treatment is done. Do not keep prescription medications around "just in case." CDC

— Pregnancy is a time of excitement and joy, but it can also be an anxious, frustrating time if a mom-to be needs to take medication.

More than 90 percent of women use at least one medicine during pregnancy. To learn about taking medicine during pregnancy, about half of women ages 18 to 44 years old look for health information on the internet.

A new study shows that while many internet websites post lists of medicines that are safe to take during pregnancy, for many of the medicines listed, there is not enough known to determine their safety or risk for use during pregnancy.

Cheryl Broussard, PhD an epidemioligist with the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities says pregnant women are taking more medications than ever and they need to be informed. " Don’t use information you find on the internet to bypass a conversation with your doctor," she warns. "Use this information as a starting point to talk with your doctor and be sure you’re only taking what’s necessary.”

Remember, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant:

  • Talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking or thinking about taking. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, as well as dietary or herbal supplements.
  • Don’t stop or start taking any type of medicine that you need without first talking with a health care provider.
  • Check with your health care provider about the information that you find online. A conversation with your health care provider can help ensure that you are taking only what is necessary.

To learn more about medication use during pregnancy visit the CDC’s Medications and Pregnancy webpage.