Drugs and Pregnancy

Drugs and Pregnancy: The Safety System

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a system to rate drugs in terms of their safety during pregnancy. This system rates both OTC drugs you can buy in a drug or discount store and drugs your healthcare provider prescribes. However, most drugs have not been studied in pregnant women. Always talk with your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns.
 
The FDA system ranks medications in terms of their safety during pregnancy according to the following categories:
 
  • Category A
  • Category B
  • Category C
  • Category D
  • Category X.
     
Category A Drugs
Category A drugs have been tested for safety during pregnancy and have been found to be safe. This includes drugs such as folic acid, vitamin B6, and thyroid drugs in moderation or in prescribed doses.
 
Category B Drugs
Category B drugs have been used a great deal during pregnancy and do not appear to cause major birth defects or other problems. This includes drugs such as:
 
Category C Drugs
Category C drugs are more likely to cause problems for the mother or fetus. This category includes drugs for which safety studies have not been finished. In fact, the majority of these drugs do not have safety studies in progress. These medications often come with a warning that they should be used only if the benefits of taking them outweigh the risks. This is something a woman needs to carefully discuss with her doctor. These drugs include:
 
Category D Drugs
These are drugs that have clear health risks for the fetus, and include:
 
In some cases, chemotherapy drugs are administered during pregnancy if the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the fetus.
Pregnancy and Pain

Pregnancy Info

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