Are Certain Medicines Off-Limits During Pregnancy?

Are Certain Medicines Off-Limits During Pregnancy?

I just found out that I'm expecting. I'm curious — are there some medicines I can't take now?
- Selena

Women should steer clear of many medicines during pregnancy. Even common over-the-counter (OTC) medications that are generally safe might be off-limits because of their possible effects on a developing baby. Certain prescription medicines also can cause problems, as can herbal remedies and supplements.

If you were prescribed a medication before you became pregnant for an illness, disease, or condition that you still have, talk with your doctor, who can help you weigh the potential benefits and risks of continuing your prescription. Let any health care provider that you see know that you're pregnant.

And check with your doctor before taking any medicines (including prescriptions, OTC medicines, herbal remedies, and supplements) to see which are safe to take during pregnancy, even if they seem like no big deal.

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: July 2015

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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Related Resources
OrganizationMaternal and Child Health Bureau This U.S. government agency is charged with promoting and improving the health of mothers and children.
OrganizationU.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation's food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.
OrganizationAmerican College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) This site offers information on numerous health issues. The women's health section includes readings on pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum care, breast health, menopause, contraception, and more.
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