Antibiotics Safe During Pregnancy?

The safety of most antibiotics during pregnancy depends on the amount and course of medication and the mother's immune system.

Bhadra Kamalasanan
PregnancyWritten by: Bhadra KamalasananPublished at: Feb 20, 2012
Antibiotics Safe During Pregnancy?

Antibiotics safe during pregnancyWhether antibiotics are safe during pregnancy or not depends on the mechanism of the body and the time of pregnancy. While some antibiotics are safe to take at any time throughout pregnancy, some threaten the development of the baby and safety of the rest depends entirely on their composition and immune system of the woman. If you and clinical experts are unsure of whether a particular drug is safe, the unawareness may be due to a lack of safety information available on the product or the potential risk of the drug is yet to be weighed against the dire consequences of the condition the drug is being used to treat.

To simplify, if you are extremely unwell during pregnancy and the only treatment available is taking antibiotics, you will perhaps have to take it even though it may threaten the development of the baby. At times, not treating an infection or problem during pregnancy is equal to risking the baby’s health by not taking antibiotics.

As is with any type of medication, the safety of one depends on not only its characteristics and how it is likely to affect the body but also on factors such as the quantity of the drug you consume, the duration of medication and the stage of your pregnancy.

There are hundreds of antibiotics, which cannot be listed here, but the ones that are commonly understood as antibiotics safe during pregnancy include amoxicillin, penicillins and erythromycin cephalosporins.

Earlier in time, experts suspected birth defects to be caused by the consumption of the drug named metronidazole, which is used to treat vaginal infections. This suspicion, however, was not supported by researches that were conducted later and the drug is now a part of antibiotics safe during pregnancy.

If you are diagnosed with urinary tract infection or the infection has travelled all the way to the kidneys, you may be asked to take nitrofurantoin for the remaining period of pregnancy to avoid the onslaught of another infection. You must, however, stop taking the medicine after 36 weeks into pregnancy because there is a decent chance that the drug will destroy the red blood cells of the baby, especially if taken within a few days of delivery.

Trimethoprim is another drug used to treat urinary tract infection, but it is not a safe drug during pregnancy as it hinders the effects of folic acid. Folic acid is an important part of pregnancy as it helps to reduce the risk of developing birth defects and neural tube.

If you must consume any drug to treat an infection during pregnancy, conduct an online research on the type of drug your doctor suggests and consult several experts to arrive at the right decision. Ensure that you take your daily dose of prenatal vitamin.


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