The US FDA has launched a campaign to dispel the “myth” that women shouldn’t be taking any medications while pregnant, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“For years, cautious mothers-to-be and their obstetricians thought ‘just say no’ was the most prudent approach to any medication more potent than a cough drop,” reported the Tribune. “But abandoning treatment for chronic health conditions — such as depression, asthma or diabetes — can sometimes affect the baby more than taking a medication while pregnant, experts said.”
The new guidelines will replace a letter-grade system provided to doctors about the safety of drugs for pregnant women. The new guidelines will have several sections, stated the Tribune. “The first gives physicians information on dosing and risks to the fetus. It also indicates whether data has been collected to show the drug’s effects — something never required until now. The second offers what is known about the drug’s impact on breast-feeding, and the final section addresses how the product may affect fertility.”
The article described the existence of a widespread “myth” that women should take no medications while pregnant, and the new movement to dispel this myth. However, the article also noted that, “The change comes at a time when a growing number of women are taking medications during their childbearing years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of all women are on at least one prescription or over-the-counter drug, while the use of four or more prescriptions has more than doubled during the past 30 years.”
FDA aims to dispel ‘myth of the medication-free pregnancy’ (Chicago Tribune, April 27, 2015)