Taking Untested Medicine When Pregnant – Risks Involved

Taking Untested Medicine When Pregnant – Risks Involved

During pregnancy, expectant mothers are likely to take extra care to ensure the best health of their unborn child. Resting, eating healthy, taking vitamins, and getting exercise is all par for the course. However, taking medications during pregnancy comes with certain sensitivities. The developing fetus requires special attention, and many medications can interfere with proper growth.

What makes determining bad drugs from good drugs for a fetus difficult is the drug manufacturers inability to effectively test the drug on pregnant women. Because pregnant women usually cannot be a part of a drug test group, there is no way to tell how the fetal development will respond to the drug. Unbeknownst to many pregnant women, this leads to being the guinea pigs themselves. Being prescribed a medication when pregnant assumes that the doctor knows the risks and has evaluated every avenue of care prior to issuing a prescription to a pregnant patient.

Additionally, you may already be on a prescription medication prior to becoming pregnant and your physician fails to inform you that continued use may be harmful to your unborn child.

The effects of untested medicine can lead to birth defects, birth complications and continued developmental problems for both the child and mother.

Medication Use Among Pregnant Women

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the use of medications during pregnancy has become a national health concern. Some startling facts concerning prescription medication use during pregnancy include:

  • It is estimated that seven out of every ten expectant mothers take some form of prescribed medication.
  • Over the last 30 years, the use of prescribed drugs has increased among pregnant women by almost 60 percent.
  • Many women need to continue to take medication during pregnancy to manage their existing health conditions.
  • The CDC estimates that fewer than ten percent of medications have adequate research to determine whether they are safe enough to be taken during pregnancy.

View this infographic from the CDC to learn more

Many women take medicines that were prescribed prior to pregnancy to treat an underlying health condition and disorder, and for these women to stop taking these medicines could result in potentially harmful effects on their own overall health. The CDC advises women to discuss the potential negative side effects of any prescribed medications with their family doctor or obstetrician.

When making a decision to continue or begin treatment during pregnancy, the U.S. Department of Health advises women to weigh the potential risks against the potential benefits of the medication. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is a valuable resource for information on drug safety and side effects and works with drug manufacturers to develop clear safety guidelines. Oftentimes there is just not enough information available to make this determination.

According to the Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, potentially harmful medications include:

  • Ondansetron (Zofran) for nausea
  • Fluconazole (Diflucan) for yeast infections
  • Metformin (Glucophage) for diabetes
  • Isotretinoin (Accutane) for cystic acne
  • Albuterol for asthma
  • Serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs (such as Zoloft, Paxil, and Celexa) for depression

If you or a loved one has suffered complications during pregnancy that resulted in injuries to the mother or baby, contact the experienced medical malpractice and bad drug attorneys at the Blaut Weiss Law Group for a free consultation. In cases of medical malpractice, it is important to act quickly and swiftly.