Is it forbidden to take drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
Medicines (but not all!) Can have harmful effects during pregnancy and breastfeeding. This is why, especially in these "situations", they must be taken only when necessary and under prescription and medical supervision.
One of the major concerns of mothers is that the drugs taken during pregnancy and while breastfeeding can be dangerous for their baby. About 80% of pregnant women take at least one drug. Drugs can have harmful effects on the fetus at any stage of gestation, but only 2% of the teratogenic effects are due to drugs in pregnancy. Their passage into breast milk can also be dangerous for the infant. The anxious attitude of mothers, such as to suspend chronic therapies or breastfeeding, is encouraged by the package leaflets which often contain the phrase "contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding". This is why before conception, during pregnancy and during breastfeeding, drugs should be used only if necessary and if recommended by the doctor. Before and after conception, the woman must absolutely indicate to her doctor the medicines she uses to get advice if and how to continue taking them. Medicines should be avoided only if there are justified reasons that do not recommend their use and the suspension of breastfeeding should only take place if there is a well-founded health risk for the child, taking into account the balance between these risks and the benefits that breastfeeding bears.
During pregnancy and breastfeeding, therefore, drugs must be taken when necessary and under medical prescription, in order to protect the health of mother and baby.
1. National Guideline System (SNLG). Physiological pregnancy
2. Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA). Medicines and Pregnancy
3. Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA). Medicines and breastfeeding
4. AIFA - Ministry of Health. Medicines and breastfeeding. Information Bulletin on Medicines. 2005; Year XII
5. Ministry of Health. Drugs in Breastfeeding Women: A No-bias Approach