Pregnancy is a long road with many challenges. It is truly a blessing, but with the rules around pregnancy medications constantly changing, one has to be very careful with over-the-counter drugs for something even as trivial as a headache.
For a mother-to-be, headaches, back pain, and common illnesses can be challenging, with most over-the-counter drugs posing potential risks for the growing fetus. It doesn’t mean they must endure those discomforts throughout their pregnancy. But, avoiding certain drugs is necessary for a healthy pregnancy and birthing.
To help would-be mothers, here are ten drugs one should avoid during pregnancy.
It may seem hard to believe, but many researchers believe that Tylenol is linked to autism and ADHD in children if taken during pregnancy. Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is commonly used by women during pregnancy for pain and fever. But, the increased risk of autism and ADHD have also made Tylenol autism lawsuits very much valid. Researchers are warning about the adverse effect of Tylenol on fetus development. So, before taking Tylenol, do consult your doctor on effective alternatives with lesser risks.
It is an antibiotic with a potential risk of causing severe blood disorders and gray baby syndrome, two severe side effects. During animal reproduction studies, Chloramphenicol has shown adverse effects on the fetus. Thus, avoiding this drug during pregnancy is better, or you should consult a doctor before using it.
During the test on animals, this drug has shown potential harm to fetus development. It damages the blood cells in a fetus. Thus experts advise pregnant women to ignore this medicine completely. It is used for the treatment of malaria.
One of the most popular over-the-counter drugs, Aspirin, may not be the right choice for you during pregnancy. It raises the risk of bleeding in the brain of premature infants. So, it is better to avoid Aspirin altogether unless your doctor prescribes it and look for alternatives for headaches and other less severe symptoms.
Another over-the-counter drug used to relieve pain that can cause severe problems during pregnancy, like miscarriage, delayed labor, jaundice, abnormal Vitamin K levels, heart defects, hemorrhaging in both mother and baby, etc. Although experts believe it can be used in small doses, it is better to consult your doctor before taking Ibuprofen like Advil and Motrin.
It is another antibiotic that can cause neural tube defects leading to defects in the brain development in a developing baby. Commonly sold under the brand name Primsol, it is better to avoid this drug due to its significant risk.
A prescribed pain reliever, but in some states, it is available as an over-the-counter drug for cough. It is known for being potentially habit-forming, leading to withdrawal symptoms in newborns. Although it doesn’t show any long-term effects, it has been discovered that using Codeine during early pregnancy is linked to heart defects and spina bifida in the baby. So, avoiding it and asking your doctor for much safer alternatives is better.
It is a blood thinner used for treating blood clots and also preventing them. Warfarin can cause congenital disabilities, making it unsuitable for pregnant women. However, the doctor may use it when the risk of a blood clot is more threatening than its risk to the baby.
This drug prevents panic disorder and seizures and treats panic and anxiety attacks. However, using it during pregnancy can cause withdrawal symptoms in newborn babies. The symptoms are temporary. Clonazepam at the end of pregnancy may cause troubled breathing, low muscle tone, and poor circulation in newborns.
From decreased milk supply to irritability in infants, there are some side effects of using Brompheniramine during pregnancy. It is commonly used to treat the common cold, flu, and allergy symptoms. So, if the symptoms are manageable, it is better to avoid Brompheniramine and consult your doctor for an alternative.
Note: This list doesn’t mention every drug that needs to be avoided during pregnancy. For better information, contact your doctor or specialist for the same.
Many researchers believe these drugs carry potential risks for pregnant women. We advise you to discuss this with your physician before taking any over-the-counter medications for a better understanding. Some of these can be taken at the initial stage of pregnancy in limited dosage, but it would be better to consult a doctor before going forward. Your doctor can also help with an effective alternative to prescribed or over-the-counter medications, so you don’t have to be in discomfort throughout your pregnancy.