Are You the One in Ten?
About two thirds of pregnant women are prescribed medications during pregnancy that are not their vitamins. And yet when you take those medications you may in fact already be pregnant, so gynos warn, if you are between the ages of 15 and 45, think about what you take and how that medicine would sit with a pregnancy. If you want to know what you are taking is safe for a developing pregnancy, read the label, but it's probably confusing. And the language it's written in and the research it's based on may be as confusing to your gyno as to you! And when you ask your gyno medication safety questions, the most important question to start with: what is your background risk of having a complication? About 2-3% of women have birth defects regardless of whether they have medical complications to their pregnancy, but if you have medical conditions in pregnancy which always get treated with medication, for you and your gyno to properly evaluate the safety, you have to then be sure that the birth defects seen are medication related, and not just chance or the medical problem itself. Nausea and Vomiting of pregnancy currently is reported in about 85% of all women who are pregnant.Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is more common in first pregnancies and it is most likely to be resolving by the third month. There's always been a popular wives belief that a "sick pregnancy" leads to an easy confinement. Since the nausea and vomiting more likely occur in the morning we have always called pregnancy nausea "morning sickness." We have long struggled with whether the medicines we use to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, whether it causes an easier birth or not, but are the medicines used to treat this actually safe. We once had a drug in the US called Bendectin, and in 1983 it was removed from the us market for presumed safety questions with regards to birth defects. It was the combination of doxylamine and Vitamin B6. That very combination is still sold in Canada.without any undue reports of abnormalities. In the USA we have a sleep medicine called Unisom, and it's actually doxylamine, so we can cobble together the old combination to use if we want to. And it's a good one. But we've switched to using ondansetron. The use of this medicine grew rapidly because it was so effective, long before any safety studies were published. Then the safety studies were "look back" or what is called retrospective studies and they were often big! As many as 5000 women, and the good news was that the look back studies showed that there were no reasons for the physicians to feel that this drug was not safe. There are lots of ways to track the safety of the medications that you are taking when you are pregnant. It's important to know if there are new alerts or new studies, so keep vigilant in watching the news and talking with your health care provider. Your physician might be using PubMed or the Web of Science to find answers to questions regarding exposures and risks.
Resources you can follow would include: