Antibiotics will usually fall under one of 5 categories:
|A||Adequate, well-controlled studies in pregnant women have not shown an increased risk of fetal abnormalities.|
|B||Animal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus; however, there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Or Animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.|
|C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Or No animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.|
|D||Studies, adequate well-controlled or observational, in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy may outweigh the potential risk.|
|X||Studies, adequate well-controlled or observational, in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. The use of the product is contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant.|
Most antibiotics will fall somewhere in between. Risks associated with antibiotic use also depend on when you take it during your pregnancy, how much you take, and what form you are using. While some antibiotics may fall in the gray area, both mother and health provider must decide if the course of treatment benefits outweighs the risks.
Penicillin, Cephalosporin, and Erythromycin are some of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics and are generally considered safe for use during pregnancy. Some antibiotics will block important nutrients from being absorbed during their use and it’s important to take your prenatal vitamins during this time. Discuss this with your health care provider and your pharmacist if you have any concerns.