Drugs and Pregnancy

Category X Drugs
These are medicines that have been shown to cause birth defects and should never be taken during pregnancy. Category X drugs include:
 
  • Accutane® (used to treat skin conditions like cystic acne)
  • Tegison® or Soriatane® (used to treat psoriasis)
  • Thalidomide (a sedative)
  • Diethylstilbestrol or DES (used to prevent miscarriage until 1971 in the United States and in Europe until 1983).
     
Aspirin and other drugs containing salicylate are not recommended during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. In rare cases, however, a woman's healthcare provider may want her to use these types of drugs under close supervision.
 
Acetylsalicylate, a common ingredient in many OTC painkillers, may make a pregnancy last longer and may cause severe bleeding before and after delivery.
 

Research Studies on Pregnancy and Drugs

To help women make informed, educated decisions about using drugs during pregnancy, it is necessary to find out the effect of these medicines on the unborn baby. Pregnancy Registries are one way to do this.
 
A Pregnancy Registry is a study that enrolls pregnant women after they have been taking drugs and before the birth of the baby. Babies born to women taking a particular drug are compared with babies of women not taking the drug. Looking at a large number of women and babies is needed to find out the effect of the medication on the babies.
 
If you are pregnant and currently taking drugs -- or have been exposed to drugs during your pregnancy -- you may be able to join and help with this needed information.
 
Pregnancy and Pain

Pregnancy Info

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