What Medications Are Not Safe to Take During Pregnancy?

Medically Reviewed on 1/9/2023
Medications to Avoid During Pregnancy
Always consult your doctor before taking medication during pregnancy.

Certain medications taken during pregnancy may result in non-genetic birth defects, especially during the first trimester of the pregnancy because organogenesis occurs during this period.

Medications are not completely safe during pregnancy, but there are a few that can be used with a doctor's prescription. Before taking any medication during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, always consult your doctor.

Medications to avoid during pregnancy include:

Most dangerous medicine for pregnancy

The following are a few medications, which should be avoided during pregnancy or should be taken only under the supervision of a healthcare provider as they may cause birth defects:

  • Antibiotics: Are commonly given during pregnancy. However, certain antibiotics are safer to use during pregnancy, whereas others or not. It is very important to choose the specific type of antibiotic that is safer to use during pregnancy.
  • Anticonvulsants: Increase the risk of fetal loss, prenatal growth restrictions, and premature birth when taken during pregnancy.
  • Benzodiazepines: Should be avoided during pregnancy. It causes premature births and low birth weight of the baby.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): May put your pregnancy at risk and reduce amniotic fluid levels, so it is critical to use NSAIDS under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
    • Naproxen, aspirin, and celecoxib increase the risk of miscarriages.
    • Avoid ibuprofen as it causes various side effects, such as:
      • Miscarriages
      • Delayed labor
      • Premature closure of an important artery called fetal ductus arteriosus
      • Jaundice
      • Hemorrhage in both the mother and fetus
      • Necrotizing enterocolitis or destruction of the lining of intestines
      • Decreased level of amniotic fluid
      • Brain damage
      • Vitamin K abnormalities
  • Thalidomides: These are sedative drugs that cause malformation, especially in the limbs. Thalidomide was banned in pregnant mothers in 1960 after a great tragedy occurred causing the malformation of limbs in thousands of children. Previously the medicine was used to treat morning sickness. Now, it is used to treat skin conditions and cancer. However, the medicine should be strictly avoided.


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What is the safe medication during pregnancy?

The following medications are generally safe to use during pregnancy:

Medically Reviewed on 1/9/2023
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