Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Taking Medications during Pregnancy

"I don't need to see any Doctors because I know I cannot take medications during pregnancy"

I had a pregnant patient recently who said that she had a friend who has been having a sore throat for 2 weeks but has been refusing to see the doctor because she claims that the doctor can't do anything because she believes a pregnant woman cannot take any medications at all.

If you believe that you cannot take any medications at all during pregnancy and refuse to seek medical attention, you may be endangering yourself and your baby. People say that one has the right to believe anything you want and that is your right. But one really has to make sure that the belief is based on facts and not hearsay. This is one of the biggest challenges in family practise because most patients have beliefs which come from various sources. Some of these beliefs are wrong and so patient education is an ongoing process.

The fact of the matter is that during pregnancy, there are some medications which will affect the developing foetus and which should be avoided. BUT, there are also medications which are shown to be safe during pregnancy. If you have say, a mild chest infection and you refuse to see the Doctor because you believe that you should not take medications when you are pregnant, that mild infection may develop into full blown pneumonia and you may become septic (germs get into the blood). Then you may need to be admitted to hospital for intravenous antibiotics. That will be more dangerous for you and your unborn child.

The bottomline is this: If you are ill, see your doctor. He will be able to properly assess the condition and tell you if the illness requires medications.


Anonymous said...

This is with regard to pregnant womens to consult a doctor prior, before or after pregnanacy. Some pregnant dont want to visit clinics and consult a doctor. They feel that its futile to go to doctor , they do nothing. But I am not with that conception. Doctor is must because he knows everything about medication. So, its the duty of every women to consult a doctor.

Anonymous said...

Hi Doc,

I just found out I am pregnant. But I worry my baby will affected by the medications I took early Nov due to high fever 39degree and sore throat.
Can you help to advice whether the medications is safe or will affect my baby.. Thanks!

My LMP is 22Oct (28days cycle), I having high fever, cough, sore throat on 5Nov and went to see doc. The doc prescribed me as below:-

1)Nurofen 400mg (High Fever)
2)Amocla 625mg (Antibiotic course)
3)Paracetamol 500mg
4)Dhasedyl (Cough)

And I just found out I am pregnant 2 days ago. Thank you very much!

Worry Mummy,

Dr Leslie said...


Rest assured, you are ok.

None of the medications there are known to cause severe developmental problems in foetuses.

However, now that you know you are pregnant, you should try not to take Dhasedyl which contains pseudoephedrine. Just one course during your early preganancy is ok but it is not advised for you to take it long term.

Anonymous said...

Thank you doc!! Thank you very much! Your words really help me to relax abit...


Anonymous said...


I am in my 3rd trimester (31 weeks) and have recently caught a nasty flu. I have been prescribed Dhasedyl for cough and Korzen for my throat inflammation. Are they safe at this stage of pregnancy?

And in my first trimester, I had fungal infection twice and was prescribed Diflucan on both occasions. It was only recently that I discovered that it is listed as a Class C drug for pregnancy by the FDA. I'm really concerned for my baby. Could it have affected my baby?

Please help. Thanks.

Dr Leslie said...

Yes these medications are graded A, B, C and D. Medications that are graded D must never be given as they have been proven to be detrimental to the foetus.

Class C drugs can be given if the Doctor deems the benefit to outweigh the risk to the foetus.

Different doctors may have different opinions on whether to prescribe the drugs you mention. In my practise I do not prescribe Dhasedyl or Korzen to pregant ladies.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr Tay,

Is it necessary to avoid certain medications when you are trying for a baby? And does it matter whether you take the medication in the earlier part of your cycle (pre-ovulation) or the latter, when you may be pregnant without knowing it?

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr Tay,

Is it necessary to avoid certain medications when you are trying for a baby? And does it matter whether you take the medication in the earlier part of your cycle (pre-ovulation) or the latter, when you may be pregnant without knowing it?

Dr Leslie said...

Yes there are some medications which you have to avoid when you are pregnant. Most of the OTC drugs are safe, but if you are planning to get pregnant and are taking prescribed medications, then you should check with your doctor.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr,

I'm currently 18 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I have been down with running nose, sore throat, cough, phlegm and watery eyes since yesterday. I went to see a GP today and was prescribed:
- fluimucil A 600mg eff tab twice a day
- chlorpheniramie 4mg thrice a day
- mac-extra lozenges thrice a day, and
- dhasedyl cough syrup 10ml thrice a day

are the medicines safe for my baby?

hope to hear from you soon.