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Medicine and Pregnancy in Southern New England

Harmful Medicines during Pregnancy

While some medicines are considered safe during pregnancy, the effects of other medicines on your unborn baby are unknown. Certain medicines can be most harmful to a developing baby when taken during the first three months of pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant.

Illegal drugs

Street drugs aren’t good for your health, but they are even worse for your unborn baby’s health. Illegal drugs – such as angel dust, cocaine, crack, heroin, LSD, marijuana and speed increase the chance that your baby is born with addictions or serious health problems, or is born prematurely or underweight. If you have been thinking about quitting drugs, now is the time to do it.

Let your health care provider know if you have ever used illegal drugs or if you have an addiction to any drugs so he or she can minimize the risk to your baby.

Prescription medicine guidelines

If you were taking prescription medicines before you became pregnant, please ask your health care provider about the safety of these medicines as soon as you find out you are pregnant.

Your health care provider will weigh the benefit to you and the risk to your baby when making his or her recommendation about a particular medicine. With some medicines, the risk of not taking them might be more serious than the potential risk associated with taking them.

For example, if you have a urinary tract infection, your health care provider might prescribe an antibiotic. However, if the urinary tract infection was not treated, it could cause long-term problems for both the mother and her baby.

If any new medicine is prescribed for you, please tell your health care provider that you are pregnant. Be sure to discuss the risks and benefits of the newly prescribed medicine with your health care provider.

The following medicines and home remedies have no known harmful effects during pregnancy when taking according to the package directions. If you want to know about the safety of any other medicine not listed here, please contact your health care provider.

Vaccination guidelines

The following injections and skin tests have no known harmful effects when given during pregnancy.

  • Tetanus injection
  • Tetanus toxoid
  • TB skin test
  • Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Influenza vaccine

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