Medication Use During Pregnancy
A very common concern when pregnant is around medication use during pregnancy. Especially if you’ve just found out you are pregnant, you may wonder what medication is safe to take or not, especially if you have any medical conditions that entail necessary prescription medication, if you can continue taking it.
Especially if you are a surrogate, you will want guidance on what you can take to address any discomforts like morning sickness, heartburn, backaches, the common cold or a headache. You want to be comfortable and healthy but it’s also important to protect the health and safety of the baby.
There are many women who continue to take necessary prescription medication during pregnancy for a myriad of reasons like diabetes, seizures, depression or other medical conditions but when it comes to pregnancy, the FDA has assigned letter categories to medications based on their potential for risk to a fetus. Category A is considered the safest category of medication to take, while Category X is never to be used during pregnancy.
Here are the details of each category:
Category A – Human studies show no risk
Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
Some examples of Category A medications are: Folic Acid, Levothyroxine, Liothyronine
Category B – No evidence of risk in studies
Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
Some examples of Category B medications are: Acetaminophen, Amoxicillin, Metformin, Zofran
Category C – Risk cannot be ruled out
Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.
Some examples of Category C medications are: Amlodipine, Guaifenesin, Zoloft
Category D – Positive evidence of risk
There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.
Some examples of Category D medications are: Aspirin, Dilantin, Lithium
Category X – Contraindicated in pregnancy
Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use of the drug in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
Some examples of Category X medications are: Accutane, Methotrexate, Thalomid
It can be overwhelming if you’re not feeling well and unsure of what you can and can’t take. Therefore, the very best thing to do is speak to your doctor. That way, you can discuss any symptoms you may be having and review what medication, if any, you can take to address it.
If you are a surrogate and your doctor prescribes you any medication, you may want to ask if this is something you should mention to the intended parents as well. We want to ensure open communication so that everyone can determine what course of action is best for both you and the baby.
And if you have questions, you’re always welcome to contact our team at ConceiveAbilities!