Pregnant Women Need to Censor the Drugs they Take - Study

A recent study undertaken by Canadian researchers has revealed that many pregnant women or those who are planning on getting pregnant might unknowingly be taking medicines which harm their chances, or the growing fetus. The study noted that many pregnant women still take drugs which have been long known to cause birth defects.

Dr Anick Berard, from the University of Montreal in Quebec noted that while some medicines, like those to control epilepsy, are important during pregnancy and should not be stopped, some others, like those for chronic conditions, need to be controlled due to their side effects, both when planning a pregnancy and when actually pregnant, and women need to consult their doctors about this.

Drugs "such as those that treat severe acne, anxiety and psychiatric drugs, antibiotics, and many drugs prescribed for heart disease and medical conditions can and should be avoided", said Dr. Berard.

For the sake of compiling their BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology research report, Dr. Berard and colleagues analyzed prescriptions filled by pregnant women for various medicines, between January 1998 and 2002 end. It was discovered that 56% of the 109,344 pregnant women asked for at least 1 medication prescription, and as many as 6.3% of the women did so for at least one medicine known to risk the fetus.

In light of the findings, the researchers have advised women to "plan pregnancies and avoid or minimize risks by understanding the side effects of any drug they are taking".