Every expectant mother has a question whether it is safe to take antibiotics during pregnancy or not. Some antibiotics are deemed safe while some are not. This article provides information regarding the same.
Antibiotics are medications that are used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Although these drugs are useful, they should be taken only when necessary because they can cause harmful side effects. Since antibiotics can cause birth defects as a side effect in unborn babies, women should consult their gynecologist and obstetrician before taking them during gestation.
Categories of Antibiotics
Medicines and antibiotics are assigned various categories depending on whether they are safe if taken during pregnancy.
These antibiotics are the safest since they do not harm the fetus in the first trimester or during childbirth. Mycostatin is one such drug.
Majority antibiotics come under this category and are considered safe during pregnancy since there is no evidence of any birth defects or pregnancy-related complications. These include penicillin, cefixime, amoxicillin, naproxen, ampicillin, and many more.
There is insufficient data about the effects of these antibiotics during pregnancy. Therefore, they should be avoided during pregnancy. These include bactrim, monistat, cipro, diflucan, etc.
These antibiotics should be avoided at any cost during pregnancy and prenatal care since they are known to cause birth defects or pregnancy-related complications. These include oxytetracycline, naproxen, etc.
Along with the aforementioned information there are factors which should be taken into consideration as well. These factors are:
- The kind of antibiotic.
- Dosage of the antibiotic prescribed.
- Duration of medication.
- The trimester of pregnancy you currently are in.
The duration of medication is an important factor to remember because prolonged exposure to antibiotics can cause certain deformities in the fetus or miscarriage. The trimester in which you are taking the drug is also important as there are some antibiotics which are safe only during certain trimesters.
Although some antibiotics can be safely taken during pregnancy, it is important that you take your multivitamin dose daily. If you are taking certain drugs for treating a urinary tract infection, then it is advised that you also take a daily supplement of folic acid of at least 400 milligrams. If you are taking prenatal vitamins, then you need not take an extra dose of folic acid as these vitamins contain approximately 800 milligrams of folic acid.
Antibiotics prescribed as a cure for tuberculosis, respiratory infections, and acne should be avoided at all costs. The medication used to treat tuberculosis can cause deafness in your child. Some of these drugs can also discolor your baby’s teeth.
Recent studies published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology have shown that most women take antibiotics during pregnancy or during labor. As a result, half of the children have become unable to host certain kinds of antibiotics, especially ampicillin, resulting in their inability to fight off infections.
While taking these drugs during gestational months it is important to weigh the harmful effects of the disease affecting the mother with the harm the antibiotics will have on the fetus. After taking into consideration these factors, only then should the expectant mother be prescribed antibiotics. In case of any health problems during pregnancy, it is important that you tell the physician about your pregnancy so that he can administer the safest medication with the appropriate dosage.
The safest bet is to consult your obstetrician and gynecologist before taking any kind of antibiotics during pregnancy, notwithstanding the fact whether they belong to the safe category or the unsafe category of antibiotics.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.