Drugs In Pregnancy

What are the different categories of drugs taken during pregnancy?

Since 1975, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have produced a general guideline for drug companies to label their drugs according the effect on reproduction or pregnancy. The guideline is as shown below:
Category
Description
A
Controlled studies show no risk – Adequate studies have shown no adverse effect of drug on pregnant woman and their babies.
B
No evidence of risk in humans – Adequate, well controlled studies in pregnant women have not shown increased risk of fetal abnormalities despite adverse findings in animals,
or
In the absence of adequate human studies, animal studies show no fetal risk. The chance of fetal harm is remote, but remains a possibility.
C
Risk can not be ruled out – Adequate, well-controlled human studies are lacking, and animal studies have shown a risk to the fetus or are lacking as well. There is a chance of fetal harm if the drug is administered during pregnancy; but the potential benefits may outweigh the potential risk.
D
Positive evidence of Risk – Studies in humans, or investigational or post marketing data, have demonstrated fetal risk. Nevertheless, potential benefits from the use of the drug may outweigh the potential risk. For example, the drug may be acceptable if needed in a life threatening situation or serious disease for which safer drugs cannot be used or are ineffective.
X
Contraindicated in Pregnancy– Studies in animals or humans, or investigational or post-marketing reports, have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities or risk which clearly outweighs any possible benefit to the patient.

Which over the counter medication could I take safely during pregnancy for common ailments?

Condition
Safe drugs to use
Decongestant and Cough
a)Chlorpheniramine – Drug Class B, probably safest drug to use
b)Pseudoephedrine – Drug Class B, the first choice of oral decongestant
c) Dextromethorphan – Drug Class B, appears to be safe to use in pregnancy
d)Benadryl – Drug Class B, causes oxytocin like effect in high doses
Pain
a)Panadol (Acetaminophen) – Drug Class B. Drug of choice. Limit usage to 1 – 2 days / week at the end of third trimester.
AVOID usage of NSAIDS (e.g ibuprofen, naproxen) and aspirin (unless prescribed by your doctor sometimes used in patients with history of high blood pressure, autoimmune disease or recurrent miscarriage)
Diarrhoea
a)Kaolin and Pectin – Drug Class B. Drug of choice during pregnancy
b)Loperamide (Imodium) – Drug Class B. Probably safe in pregnancy but avoid in the first trimester and use only about 24 hours.
*AVOID usage of bismuth subsalicylate and Lomotil during pregnancy
Heartburn
a)Generally usage of antacids are safe during pregnancy.
b)Simethicone – Drug Class C. Appears to be safe in pregnancy.
c)Ranitidine (Zantac) and Cimetidine (Tagamet) – Drug Class B. Regarded as safe during pregnancy
 
Is there a website that I could check for drug safety before consuming any medication?
There are numerous website that you could check. However, there is a website called http://www.safefetus.com that perhaps you could check the drug safety. You should still consult your doctor if you are unsure.
Always consult a doctor first before taking any drugs or medication when you are pregnant.
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