As an expectant parent, you trust your doctor to guide you through a healthy pregnancy and delivery. You probably cannot fathom that a medical professional would do something to harm you or your baby.
While your physician may not do so intentionally, overlooking the known side effects of prescription medications could result in birth defects or injuries. Nearly all medicine has potentially-harmful side effects, but do you know which medications you should not take throughout your pregnancy?
Medications you ought not take while pregnant
You are probably aware of the effects alcohol and recreational drugs can have on a developing fetus or nursing infant. But prescription medications can be problematic as well.
There are various risks associated with commonly-prescribed medications. These include:
- Diflucan. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can alter your vaginal pH balance, resulting in a yeast infection. But Diflucan, or fluconazole, may cause miscarriage.
- Antibiotics. Although your doctor might choose to treat an infection with Tetracycline, it could lead to heart or eye defects, malformation of your baby’s brain or cleft lip when taken during pregnancy.
- NSAIDs. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help reduce pain, inflammation and fevers. But although your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter medications such as Aleve, Motrin or Excedrin, they could cause eye or limb abnormalities, in addition to defects of the spine, spinal cord or brain.
- Benzodiazepines. Medications such as Ativan, Valium and Xanax may reduce your anxiety. However, these could lead to your child’s breathing problems, poor muscle control and trouble regulating temperature if you take them during your pregnancy.
- SSRIs. Many women take a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication to treat depression or anxiety and although they are common drugs, prescriptions such as Paxil, Lexapro, Prozac or Zoloft can prevent an infant from breathing on their own after birth.
Although certain medications are considered safe for use during pregnancy, your doctor should understand, and inform you of, the potential risks related to your prescriptions. However, if your child suffers from defects or injuries potentially related to medication your doctor prescribed during your pregnancy, exploring your legal options may be a way to hold them accountable.