Pregnancy / Childbirth

Drugs in pregnancy - do you know what is safe?

Pregnancy is a time in a woman's life in which ecology, naturalness and simplicity are gaining importance. It is recommended to eat healthy, avoid any dubious quality of modern times. Also medicines. On the other hand, too far-reaching caution is also dangerous. Sometimes you need to react and take medication to prevent the development of a disease whose effects would be greater than the risks arising from taking pharmaceuticals. So what medicines are safe during pregnancy?There is a small group of drugs that are pregnant for sure safe. Most of them can be taken only when the benefits are clearly higher than the risks resulting from their negative impact on the fetus. Drugs can directly affect a child's development, changing a normal pregnancy into complications. They can also lead to consequences that reveal themselves only after a few years of the child's life.

Read which pregnant drugs are safe.

Drugs during pregnancy. When is the greatest risk?

It is no secret that the greatest risk of taking drugs and their effect on the condition of the fetus exists in the first trimester. Also in the first days of pregnancy, when a woman usually does not know that a new life is developing in her body. For this reason, caution in the use of medication is always recommended. Especially when there is a possibility of fertilization, and especially when a couple is trying to get a baby.
An equally difficult period in terms of taking medications is the end of pregnancy, when medications could interfere with development, and in some cases, speed up or delay delivery.

The minimum is the maximum in pregnancy

Each time during pregnancy, before taking the drug, it is worth consulting first with the gynecologist, and then, if the pregnancy care specialist suggests it, with the primary care physician.
You can treat yourself with grandma's methods during pregnancy alone and with some specifics available at the pharmacy without a prescription. Before buying them, however, it is worth consulting a pharmacist, asking which drug is safe and to be sure after buying, once again consult the choice of drug with a gynecologist.

Drug categories during pregnancy

According to statistics, 15-50% of all pregnant women take medication already in the first trimester of pregnancy, very often they do not yet know about pregnancy.

Unfortunately, the increase in drug consumption and the development of new pharmaceuticals simultaneously lead to an increase in adverse effects.

The following are the definitions of the category of use of drugs during pregnancy according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

  • cat. A - this is the group of drugs for which reliable results of studies carried out in pregnant women have not shown any risk to the fetus during the first (second, third or all) trimester. In their case, the possibility of fetal damage is considered negligible. Unfortunately, there are few drugs in this group. E.g. folic acid, vitamin B12, garlic preparations.
  • cat. B - this is the group of drugs in which animal studies have not shown any risk to the fetus, but there are no reliable results from studies conducted in pregnant women. E.g. ibuprofen (Ibum, Ibuprom, MIG), amoxicillin (Duomox, Amotaks), amoxicillin + clavulanic acid (Augmentin, Amoksiclav), cetirizine (Zyrtec, Amertil, Allertec)
  • cat. C - this is the group of medicines for which animal studies have shown harmful effects, but there are no reliable results of studies conducted in pregnant women. acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin, Polopyrine) - in the third trimester, category D, clarithromycin (Klacid, Fromilid), omeprazole (Polprazol, Gasec)
  • cat. D - this is a group of medicines where there is a fairly high risk to the human fetus, but the use of the medicine in certain situations (e.g. life-threatening situations or serious illnesses that cannot be used with another, more reliable drug, or which are infectious) be accepted, despite the high risk, e.g. valproic acid (Convulex, Depakine), phenytoin, phenobarbital (Luminalum), diazepam (Relanium), oxazepam
  • cat. X - medicines that are dangerous to the fetus are included in this group. Studies in animals or humans have shown abnormalities in fetal development and / or based on human experience, there are confirmed concerns about the risk to the fetus. This risk significantly increases the possible benefits of using the medicine. The drug is contraindicated in women who are or may be pregnant. Eg temazepam (Signopam), triazolam, methotrexate, leflunomide

Drugs used during pregnancy can lead to damage during embryonic, fetal and postnatal development, as well as affect pregnancy and delivery. Therefore, the following guidelines should be followed when treating pregnant women.


  • Pharmacology (Treatment) for the mother may mean fetal toxicology (adverse effects on the fetus), i.e. the expected effects of the therapy should be considered in relation to the possible adverse effects on the fetus (RISK-BENEFIT)
  • During pregnancy, medication should be used only for strict indications. Avoid any unnecessary therapy!
  • The dose should be as low as possible for your therapy.
  • Monotherapy should be sought. (using 1 drug)
  • If the mother does not have an urgent indication of drug therapy, then in the interest of the fetus you should always make a decision against the use of drugs.
  • In each case, weigh the benefits and risks individually.
Developed on the basis of "Drugs in pregnancy and lactation" Friese, Morike, Neumann, Windorfer
Izabela Glazamgr medical biotechnology during doctoral studies in pharmacology, pharmacist