Do take the medicine in the exact dosage and for the length of time your
doctor recommends. Taking more is not better, and it is often worse.
Don't take a lower dose than your doctor prescribes without
consulting your doctor. The lower dose may do you no good, yet baby may still
get the effects of the drug.
Don't read the PDR (Physician's Desk Reference). The information in
the PDR about drugs during pregnancy is there to protect the manufacturer rather
than to inform the consumer. The warnings are needlessly scary and are often
based upon research in which huge doses of a drug are given to experimental
animals; the research may have little application to humans.
Don't take medicines, even over-the-counter ones, without consulting with
Don't take over-the-counter remedies that contain several drugs unless
advised by your doctor (e.g., cold remedies may contain mixtures of
antihistamines, decongestants, aspirin, etc.).
Don't panic if you've taken a drug that you later read may be unsafe.
Odds are greatly on your baby's side that no harm was done.
Do compromise. While some medications pose some risks to baby, a
sick mom is not good for baby either. For example, if your nasal passages are so
clogged you can't breathe, a one-time dose of a decongestant spray, such as
AfrinR, has been shown not to have any harmful effects on the fetuses that were
Do think about the effect of the drug on your baby. Because your
baby's liver and kidneys are immature, he cannot eliminate the drug as you can,
so the drug may stay in baby's system longer and at a higher level.
Don't use medicines if you are trying to conceive, especially in the
first month. The first month of fetal organ development is a high-risk period
for the effects of drugs. The "flu" you're experiencing may turn out to be
If you are already taking physician-approved medications while pregnant,
check with your doctor before taking an additional drug. Also, when your
doctor gives you a prescription for a new medication, be sure to tell him or her
about any other medications you are taking. Certain drugs may be safe if taken
individually, but not be safe if taken in combination with others.
AskDrSears.com is intended to help parents become better informed consumers of health care. The information presented in this site gives general advice on parenting and health care. Always consult your doctor for your individual needs.