What medication can take while pregnant?

Congratulations on your pregnancy! As exciting as this news is, it also comes with a lot of questions and concerns. It’s natural to worry about keeping yourself and your baby healthy during the nine months. One question that frequently arises is which medications are safe to take while pregnant? You don’t want to harm your unborn child in any way, but you also don’t want unbearable pains or discomforts either. In this article, we’ll explore what medication is safe to use.


Prescription drugs are classified by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) into one of five categories based on their level of risk for use during pregnancy:

  • Category A: Drugs that have been extensively studied by controlled studies with no evidence of fetal harm
  • Category B: Drugs that have been tested in animals with no evidence of fetal harm but do not have adequate human studies available yet
  • Category C: Drugs that could cause mild or moderate harm if taken by pregnant women
  • Category D: Drugs that pose a significant risk to the fetus.
  • Category X: drugs used before pregnancy that show adverse effects when used during pregnancy.

As much as possible doctors advise against taking any medication at all unless absolutely necessary, especially during the first trimester when major organs begin developing. However some times they become inevitable and choosing appropriate medicines becomes a challenge.

Pain Relievers

Pregnancy causes numerous changes in hormones levels leading to headaches and migraines mostly in early stages. Luckily most these headaches disappear after the first trimester itself however sometimes it might seem so bad you would require painkillers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol). NSAIDs like ibuprofen should be avoided throughout all three trimesters because they can interfere with fetal development.

Type Safe?
Acetaminophen(Tylenol) Yes
Ibuprofen No

Allergy Medications

If you have an allergy or cold while pregnant, there are treatments available that won’t harm your unborn child.

Type Safe?
Benadryl Yes
Claritin/Loratadine Yes
Zyrtec/Cetirizine Yes

Iron Supplements

Iron deficiency is common in expecting mothers due to increased blood production. Low levels of iron can lead to anaemia — a condition which leads to fatigue, weakness and dizzyness. Here are safe doses of Iron supplements:

  • Ferrous sulfate: 325 mg – 50mg daily
  • Ferrous gluconate: 36mg – one tab twice daily
  • Folic acid with ferrous bisglycinate : One tablet once daily

Antacids and Heartburn medication

Heartburn during pregnancy becomes a very real problem for many women. Mommies-to-be often experience heartburn due to hormones slowing down the digestive process thus leading stomach acids to go back into the esophagus easily.

Type Safe?
Mylanta Mild cases only – Check if magnesium Hydroxide (an ingredient) is safe first under OB recommendation.
Ranitidine(Zantac) Yes

Vitamins and Minerals

Prenatal vitamins might include various minerals like iodine , calcium etc for both mommy’s nutrition along with baby’s healthy development.

Type Safe?
Iodine supplement as Potassium Iodide Check Expert advice
Vitamin D Yes
Calcium Check dosage with Doctor

It should be noted that high doses of some Vitamin A derivatives such as retinoids used in acne treatment can cause severe birth defects.

Oral Health care drugs

During pregnancy dental hygiene gets overlooked most times but actualy it is of utmost importance since dental infections lead to preterm labour along with low birth weight child. As per the safety protocols by ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists),

  • Emergency surgery during pregnancy should be done only using minimum essential drugs to avoid complications
  • Amoxycillin or erythromycin can be prescribed in event on dental related infections.

Table: Safe Drugs for Dental Care

Medicine Reason Safe?
Paracetamol – Acetaminophen For pain relief Yes
Metronidazole, clindamycin Antibiotics No(no prescription without OB consultation)
Benzocaine – Orajel Milder toothache Check Under Specialist advice

Prescription Drugs from different Categories

Some common diseases like diabetes or Hypertension require maintenance through medications throughout the pregnancy. Doctors decide dosages accordingly depending upon categories mentioned below.

Category B Medications:

Here are some safe examples
– Insulin
– Zofran (ondansetron)
– Penicillins e.g amoxicillin

Category C Medications:

Drugs under this category have mild risks which might create issues but not severe enough for termination.

Examples include:
– Lovenox / Heparin
– Prozac(FLuoxetine)

Category D medications:

Those medicines that comes under High risk/potential dangers are labelled under this group.

Some examples include:

Medicine use/type
Valproic acid Epilepsy Treatment
Lithium Used as a mood stabilizer
Isotretinoin Acne medication
Thalidomide To treat Cancer but causes terrible fetal deformities
Methotrexate A Chemotherapy agent

Herbal Products and Supplements

It is not a great idea to just consume anything off the market without consulting with your doctor If you’re planning to use an herbal supplement while pregnant, research it fully before using as many popular herbs like St. John’s wort and Yohimbe can lead to serious complications for both mother and baby.

Here is a list of safe options:

  • Ginger: effective in relieving nausea
  • Cranberry juice: helpful against urinary tract infections.
  • Chamomile Tea :beneficial for its soothing effects

Do note that self-dosage should never be practiced as certain substances might seem harmless but could turn hazardous leading upto deformities or even foetal deaths. Therefore taking medicine during pregnancy should always follow expert advice along with updated medical guidelines.

So there you have it — everything you need to know when considering which medications are safe to take when expecting. Remember, always double-check medication labels before consumption And happy Pregnancy!

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