Pregnant women should discuss prescription meds with their doctors
If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, check your medications, says March of Dimes’ deputy medical director Diane M. Ashton, MD, in a recent article in The Safety Report. Some prescription drugs can cause a host of problems for both the developing fetus and the mother, including miscarriage, low birth weight, premature labor, placental abruption, fetal death, and even material death.
For some drugs, continuing to take them during pregnancy isn’t an issue. But other drugs have been shown to cause serious complications. Women may have to choose between continuing on a medication or having a baby. Otherwise, the baby could be at serious risk.
Antidepressants are one of the most prescribed medications in the country, and the most popular antidepressants include a category of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. These drugs include the brand names Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro and Prozac.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is quickly learning more and more about these medications and their potential effects on unborn children. In fact, the FDA recently reclassified Paxil as a Category D pregnancy drug after data showed that some women who took Paxil delivered babies with birth defects. Newer studies also suggest that other SSRI drugs may be just as dangerous.
This new information has also resulted in lawsuits against the makers of some SSRIs for not adequately warning women of the potential for birth defects when taking the medication during pregnancy.
The bottom line, Ashton says, is understanding the risks and benefits with any medication, especially if you become pregnant.
Source: The Safety Report