“Safe” Medications during Your Pregnancy

By Joanne Stone, Keith Eddleman, Mary Duenwald

After you find out you’re pregnant, you may wonder about the risks involved with certain medications. Maintaining good health throughout your pregnancy is a critical step in delivering a healthy baby. Many medicines — both over-the-counter and prescription — are safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re taking medications essential for your health, discuss them with your physician prior to stopping them or changing your dose or regimen.

Exposure to the following drugs and chemicals is considered to be safe during pregnancy:

  • Pain medications (for example, acetaminophen)

  • Anti-viral medications (for example, acyclovir)

  • Antiemetics/anti-nausea medications (for example, phenothiazines, trimethobenzamide, and Diclegis, a combination of doxylamine and vitamin B6, which has recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for morning sickness and is in the safest drug classification for pregnancy [category A])

  • Antihistamines (for example, doxylamine)

  • Low-dose aspirin — often used to decrease risk for preeclampsia in patients at risk

  • Minor tranquilizers and some antidepressants (for example, meprobamate, chlordiazepoxide, and fluoxetine)

  • Antibiotics (for example, penicillin, cephalexin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and erythromycin)

  • Anti-viral agent used in patients with HIV: Zidovudine