a foetus is extremely vulnerable to commonly and sometimes carelessly precribed medicines during pregnancy as well as to many noxious influences like smoking, drinking alcohol and drug abuse by the mother.
I was reading a medical journal and came across an extensive article about the use of drugs during pregnancy and a few cardinal rules for drugs to be taken during pregnancy.
According to this article, Right upto World war 2 , most obstricians were of the opinion that if you looked after the mother the baby in the womb would look after itself.This complacency was jolted in the forties when subsequent experiments proved that a foetus is extremely vulnerable to commonly and sometimes carelessly precribed medicines during pregnancy as well as to many noxious influences like smoking, drinking alcohol and drug abuse by the mother.
A pregnancy lasting nine months is divided into 3 trimesters of three months each. During the First trimester certain drugs may produce congenial malfunction, the period of the greatest risk being from the third to eleventh weeks of pregnancy.
During the second and third trimesters drugs may affect the growth and the functional development of the foetus. No drug is safe beyond all doubt in early pregnancy. So it is essential that every pregnant mother should have a basic knowledge about the drugs trhat can be harmful to herself or to her baby.
A list of drugs to avoid during pregnancy
1, Proven Teratogens - Causing deformity in foetus.
Thalidomite - causes limb defects,deafness, congenital heart diseases etc;
Anti tumor drugs can lead to abortion and skeletal defects in the foetus.
Aspirins and Analgesic powders are known to cause Anaemia , post- partum haemorrhage, prolonged gestation etc;
3, Anticoagulants such as Warfarn and Heparin can cause foetal mortality.
4, Anti microbials like tetracyclinews, Aminoglycosides and Sulphonamides cause nerve deafness and reversible effect on skeletal growth in prematures.
5, Antimalarial drugs like Qunine ,Pentaquin or Chloroquine can cause abortion or congenital deafness.
6, Antithyroid drugs like Iodides , Radioactive iodine, Thiouracils may cause foetal goitre or destoy foetal thyroid...
7, Cardiac preparations like Pro pranolol can cause Intrauterine growth retardation.
8, Streroids like Betnelan, Betnesol, Wysalone, Cortisone, Androgen etc; can cause Masculization in female foetus and other mal function.
9, Vaccines like Rubella, Measles and Yellow fever contain live virus which crosses Placenta..
A few Cardinal rules for drugs taken during pregnancy
Drugs should be taken when prescribed during pregnancy only if the expected benefit to the mother is thought to be greater than the risk to the foetus.
“ A pill for every ill “ is an unsafe policy , and is to be avoided despite all temptations to provide instant relief.
During the first trimester all drugs should be avoided as far as possible.
Medicines which have been extensively used in pregnancy and are known to be safe should only be prescribed and taken by the pregnant woman.
The smallest effective dose of the medicine/drug prescribed should be taken. In case of any side effects the doctor should be immediately consulted..