One of the biggest concerns you are likely to have during pregnancy is whether or not the prescription medications you take are safe for your baby. Truth is, some medications are perfectly fine during pregnancy, even some prescription medications. Others, however, are known to be harmful. Still others haven’t specially been tested for safety during pregnancy.

The FDA classifies medications in terms of how safe they are thought to be for use during pregnancy. Here are the classifications most prescription medications fall into:

  • Category A. Category A medications have been demonstrated to have no adverse effects on pregnancy. These medications have been through human trials and shown to not harm the pregnant woman or her baby in any way whatsoever. A good example of a category A medication is folic acid.
  • Category B. Category B medications have been shown not to cause any problems during pregnancy, but only in animal studies. In some cases, these medications may have caused part of problems during animal studies, but have also been studied on human beings and have not been shown to have any problems related to their use. Examples include amoxicillin and metformin.
  • Category C. These medications have no good human studies. In some animal studies, these medications may have caused problems. Alternatively, there may have been no studies on either animals or human beings for these medications. Examples include Diflucan, Zoloft and Ventolin. In some cases, the benefits from using these medications may outweigh the dangers that they present to pregnancy.
  • Category X. These are medications that have demonstrable adverse effects on babies during pregnancy. These are medications where the benefits will never outweigh the risks that go along with the medication, and these should never be used by a pregnant woman. Examples of category X medications include Accutane and thalidomide.

If you’re concerned about the safety of your prescription medications during pregnancy, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will have access to the latest information about the safety and category of various medications, and may be able to prescribe alternative medications that will be safe for your baby yet will still aid in whatever health problems they were meant to help.

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Prescription Medications During Pregnancy