Changing Drug Labels

FDA proposes to get rid of the old Pregnancy Categories (A, B, C, D & X), and replacing them with clearer terms. Read more about it here.

(Oh, and in case you’re wondering — drugs in category A are generally considered safest for use in pregnancy, while B is not as safe, and so forth. Drugs in category X are drugs that known to be harmful to the mother or baby, and should never be used. The other drugs may in some cases have benefits that outweigh the known harms. For instance, if a mother is really suffering with an infection, then her baby is suffering as well, and it may be better for her to take something and get herself and her baby better, than to take nothing and stay sick. If the illness is severe enough, her baby may be adversely affected either way, and it may be better for her to take the risk of some problem caused by medication, than to take the risk of some problem caused by the original illness. Some drugs are considered safe to take in some trimesters, while not in others — it depends on how the drug affects the fetus. In the first trimester, the major organ systems of the fetus are “under construction” so most drugs are verboten then; however, there are many other drugs that are safe in the first trimester, but should not be used in later pregnancy. Sound confusing? It is. Consult a knowledgeable pharmacist and/or a doctor for the best and most up-to-date advice. That’s why they went to school all those years and make the big bucks!

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