It’s perfectly normal to have questions about the use of medication during pregnancy. You may be attempting to get pregnant and wonder how current use of medication could affect your efforts to conceive, or maybe you just realized that you’re pregnant and wonder if any medication you are currently taking is a risk to your baby.
Talk to your OBGYN who prescribed the medication. You might come to find that the benefits of taking the medication outweigh the potential risks. You can work through these factors with them and try to figure out what course of action is best for both you and your baby.
Please note that many women take prescription medication when pregnant for necessary reasons such as diabetes, depression, seizures, anxiety, and other medical conditions. Some pregnant women take medications to help with typical discomforts of pregnancy like heartburn, headaches, or morning sickness.
Pregnancy can influence the effectiveness of your medication. When you’re pregnant, your blood volume shoots up, and your heart and kidneys both work harder. This means that medications have the potential to pass through your body faster than normal. This could mean that you either have to take more medicine or take it in a different way.
In most cases, there are different kinds of medications to take care of a specific problem. Your OBGYN can switch the type of medication you’re on to take care of your medical needs while reducing any risk to your developing baby.
Every medication has its own risk factor classification associated with potential risk factors throughout pregnancy. These ratings, as well as an evaluation of the risks and benefits of using a certain medication in your situation, will help you and your doctor figure out what medication is best for you to take.
There are also alternatives to medication. Your doctor has the best in mind for both you and your little one. You might take a different approach and change the course of treatment by incorporating other methodologies like acupuncture or behavioral techniques. Of course, this depends on what medical conditions you’re dealing with.
You should never start or stop taking medication while pregnant without first consulting your OBGYN. Here are some ways to help make sure you and your baby are properly cared for.
- First things first, remember to always consult your doctor.
- Read the Label. Look for warnings or indications of pregnancy. You should also look out for potential allergic reactions along with expiration dates.
- Be aware of side effects. Speak with your doctor or a pharmacist about potential side effects. Some medications cause side effects like sleepiness, vomiting, or headaches which could be heightened due to pregnancy hormones.
- Organize your medications: Be careful not to mix up your medications to avoid overdosing.
- Do not skip medications. Take as prescribed by your doctor.
- Do not share medications.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask about the medication name, generic alternatives, benefits and risks, and problems to watch for.
- Keep records: It is always wise to hold on to a record of medications taken whether pregnant or not. This becomes even more important if you’re expecting.
- Look over pregnancy medication registries: The FDA has a new pregnancy and medication registry that you may find useful.
For more helpful women’s tips like these, contact Dr. Ghea, a top female OBGYN in Fort Lauderdale whose goal is to make you feel comfortable covering anything about your overall health and well-being. If you want to set up an appointment with her, you can call her office at Westside OB/GYN Group at 954-473-2011 or submit a request online.