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Undecided about Pregnancy - Medication Use

Why Does It Matter?

There has been an increase in multiple medication use among women of reproductive age. Understanding drug interactions can help you be proactive about your health.


Impact:

  • Prescribed medicines may have side effects, interact with other drugs or interact with food.  

  • Certain drugs that are taken together may not work as well, the same goes for food.
     

  • Certain drugs may interfere with the effectiveness of birth control. If you are taking specific drugs, such as Rifampin, they may decrease effectiveness of hormonal forms of birth control such as the pill, patch and ring.
     

  • It's important to look up the specific kind of medicine you are prescribed to see if it will decrease the effectiveness of birth control.
           

  • If you were to get pregnant, medications can have large impacts on your child's health even if the medicine was prescribed to you by your doctor.

  • Exposure to prescription medicine, over the counter medications, supplements and herbal remedies may negatively affect your child during pregnancy.

  • Organogenesis (the formation of the child’s organs) happens within the first days after a missed period, during this time most are unaware they are pregnant, and may still be taking medicines.

  • There are medications you can take during pregnancy that will have no impact on your child’s growth.

     

 

Recommendation:

  • If you are taking multiple medications, make sure to look up if they negatively interact with each other, especially birth control.

  • Check all of your medications to see if there are certain foods that decrease their effectiveness.

  • If you do plan to get pregnant at some point in the future make sure that you look at which medications can cause pregnancy complications.

  • Discuss potential medication interactions with a healthcare provider and make sure you do not stop taking a medication until your doctor approves.

  • Go to MotherToBaby and look up the medications you are currently taking. They have fact sheets that tell you what your medication is, the impact it could/could not have on a pregnancy, impact of father taking the drug at time of conception and if you should take the medication while breastfeeding.

  • If you are considering breastfeeding, plan ahead and learn about which medications won’t affect breast milk. Keep in mind they may be different than the ones you can or cannot take while pregnant.

  • If you are taking a medication that is harmful during pregnancy, use birth control to reduce risk of getting pregnant.

 

Birth Control and Medication Interference-Bedsider

https://www.bedsider.org/features/294-which-medications-can-mess-with-birth-control

Multiple Medications: Will They Work Together- Cleveland Clinic
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/multiple-medications-will-they-work-together

Learn which foods may interact with your medication’s effectiveness
https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/.../GeneralUseofMedicine/UCM229033.pdf

MotherToBaby- These are given in English and Spanish

http://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets-parent/


Page Updated: 8/7/2017