Pregnancy and medications

Pregnancy and medications

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It is enough to take any leaflet of any medicine to see the legend of 'contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation'. The general recommendation, therefore, during the nine months of pregnancy is do not take medication.

This advice is not always followed and approximately 80% of pregnant women consume some type of drug without a prescription during pregnancy.

The main reason for advising against the use of medications in pregnancy is that drugs reach the fetus through the placenta, in the same way that vitamins and nutrients that are taken with food pass.

Medicines can affect the baby by causing developmental injuries or abnormalitiesEven on occasions when certain drugs are abused, it could lead to the death of the baby. Medicines can also cause less oxygen to get to you because some drugs cause your blood vessels to narrow.

Medications cause more harm to the fetus the earlier the week of gestation since the organs of the fetus are forming and they can produce a serious malformation or even cause an abortion. Therefore, the period of greatest danger is the first trimester of pregnancy. Medicines taken when the baby's main organs have developed will not cause birth defects, but they can affect organ growth.

If you are planning a pregnancy, you should also stop taking drugs. In case of being medicated for any disease, the woman should carry out a preconception consultation so that the gynecologist can assess whether to continue with the treatment or not.

It is convenient consult with the doctor, even in mild conditions such as a simple cold, to see if it is possible to take any medication. Avoiding self-medication during pregnancy even for small ailments is essential. The doctor will prescribe the appropriate medication in each case.

The most common ailment for pregnant women for which they need some medication is nausea and vomiting, in these situations doctors usually prescribe antiemetics, drugs that prevent vomiting.

Constipation is another very common ailment among pregnant women, even iron supplements help to slow down intestinal transit. It is unusual for doctors to prescribe laxativesThey only do it if the pregnant woman follows a diet rich in fiber and fails to relieve constipation.

Throughout 40 weeks of gestation, it is normal to experience a cold episode and for the pregnant woman to request some medicine to relieve symptoms. To treat colds in pregnancy, doctors recommend not administering drug combinations and only taking paracetamol if necessary.

The analgesic and antipyretic during pregnancy that doctors advise, always prescribed by them and assessing each case is paracetamol, since there is more extensive experience without teratogenic effects, that is, adverse effects for the fetus, having been described.

On the other hand, among the drugs that are harmful and that will rarely be prescribed to a pregnant woman are, among others: aspirin, anxiolytics, antibiotics, amphetamines, antidepressants, barbiturates or diuretics.

Pregnancy is a long period in which it may be necessary to take some medication since the effect of not treating the disease can be more harmful to the mother and the fetus than the drug itself. But it must be the doctor who values ‚Äč‚Äčthis by avoiding the misuse of drugs by pregnant women.

Sources consulted:
- Spanish Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics (SEGO)
- Andalusian School of Public Health (EASP)
- World Health Organization (WHO)

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