Author Topic: Pregnancy: Category C Drugs You Should Avoid  (Read 25 times)

Offline parvezalam

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Pregnancy: Category C Drugs You Should Avoid
« on: November 06, 2017, 12:16:16 PM »
During my last pregnancy, I had frequent migraine headaches and wondered what medications were safe to take.

With rules about pregnancy medications constantly changing, it can feel overwhelming to know the risks and benefits. It usually comes down to weighing the benefits for a mother with a health condition — even one as simple as a headache — with potential risks to her developing baby.

The problem is, scientists can‘t ethically perform drug testing on a pregnant woman. It's never accurate to say a medication is 100 percent safe, simply because it's never been studied or tested. Instead, doctors assign medications during pregnancy to categories of safety by risk level.
Category    Risk
Category A    The safest drugs to take during pregnancy. No known adverse reactions.
Category B    No risks have been found in humans.
Category C    Not enough research has been done to determine if these drugs are safe.
Category D    Adverse reactions have been found in humans.
Category X    Should never be used by a pregnant woman.

In the middle of the scale, we find ourselves in the murky territory of category C drugs. These are drugs that may be safe, but may be harmful.

Category C Drugs to Avoid

Luckily, there are some guidelines for specific category C drugs that women should avoid during their pregnancies. With these drugs, there is a stronger link to an adverse reaction. Doctors warn pregnant women not to take them.

Below is a sampling of category C medications pregnant women should avoid. Many of them are antibiotics.
Chloramphenicol

An antibiotic with a brand name of "Chloromycetin." This medication, usually given as an injection, is associated with serious blood disorders and gray baby syndrome.
Cipro and Levaquin

These antibiotics could cause problems with the baby's muscle and skeletal growth, joint pain, and potential nerve damage.
Primaquine

A drug used to treat malaria that can damage blood cells in a fetus.
Sulfonamides

The majority of these types of drugs, used as antimicrobials and antibacterials, cause jaundice in newborns.
Trimethoprim

An antibiotic that can cause neural tube defects in fetuses.
Codeine

Can cause withdrawal symptoms in newborns.
Ibuprofen or Motrin

High doses of these can cause many serious problems, including:

    miscarriage
    delayed onset of labor
    premature closing of the fetal ductus arteriosus
    jaundice
    hemorrhaging for both mom and baby
    necrotizing enterocolitis
    oligohydramnios
    fetal kernicterus
    abnormal vitamin K levels

Be sure to speak to your doctor if you are unsure if a medication is safe to take during your pregnancy. Also ask about updated studies, as medication categories can change with new research.
Md. Parvez Alam

Assistant Technical Officer
Department of Pharmacy
Daffodil International University