As per studies and reports published in various medical and health journals, every female takes one to four medications during the span of pregnancy. The thing that makes health consultants and medical experts concerned is that not all of these medications are prescribed properly. Many of the prescription and illicit drugs have been proved to affect the development of the fetus, thereby affecting the health of the to-be born baby.

Doctors and consultants often advise the expecting mothers of special diets, physical fitness sessions and prescription drugs that can be safely taken during different stages of pregnancy. However, the information is quite limited as no thorough researches and studies are conducted on the effects of prescription drugs on fetus. It is because such procedures and experimentation is not allowed due to ethical reasons.

It is hard to believe, but it is true that with the exception of a few class of drugs, all others tend to have some effect on the baby. The effects can range from very mild and rare which can be easily ignored to those which are serious like birth defects, abnormal development of body organs, structure or mental retardation.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agency has a well defined scheduled as per which drugs are classified to reveal the possible pregnancy related risks. Adopted in 1979, prescriptions drugs with pregnancy risks are classified in five categories A, B, C, D and X. Category A drugs include those prescriptions drugs where the evidence or proof that they can cause potential damage to fetus or human baby is minimal. On the other hand category X drugs are those where evidences and proofs regarding birth abnormalities and adverse affects are substantial and outweigh the benefits.

Some prescription drugs and classes of drugs that are not recommended to be taken during pregnancy include:

  • Over-the-Counter Drugs and Vitamins
  • Antibiotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Painkillers
  • Anticoagulants

Drugs to Avoid During Pregnancy:

Isotretinoin (Accutane), Tetracycline, Doxycycline, Asprin, Phenytoin, Paroxetine, Tegretol, Thalidomide, Acetaminophen/Paracetamol, Ergotamine, Ibuprofen, Amoxicillin, Cefotaxime, Loperamide, Benazepril, Captopril, Enalapril, Carbamazepine, Colchicine, Disulfiram, Glucocorticoids, Primidone, Quinine, Streptomycin, Retinol (high doses), Zidovudine (AZT), Celexa, Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro.