Asthma Drugs, Antidepressants, Alcohol not Advisable in Pregnancy

Recent research has suggested that pregnant mothers using antidepressants put their babies at risk of certain health problems that asthma drugs could cause certain rare birth defects and that alcohol is a complete no-no in pregnancy. We look at pregnancy related stories that have recently been making headlines:

Antidepressants in the second half of pregnancy bad for baby

A study led by Helle Kieler at the Karolinska Institute’s Centre for Pharmacoepidemiology in Stockholm found that pregnant mothers who were on SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressants such as Prozac, particularly after the 20th week of pregnancy put their babies at slight risk of increased blood pressure of the lungs.

Not Advisable in PregnancyWhile the risk increased slightly among expectant mothers taking the drug in the first half of pregnancy, when they continued to take the drug after 20 weeks gestation, the risk was found to be more than doubled. Though the risk is low, doctors have been advised to try a non-drug approach.

First Trimester Use of Antiasthma Drug could increase risk of rare birth defects slightly

According to WebMD, Asthma medication could increase risk of rare birth defects, however treating asthma during pregnancy may not increase risk of birth defects it says.

There is some doubt whether it was the severity of the asthma itself or the medications that caused rare birth defects such as blocked or missing opening of the anus, incomplete development of the esophagus and intestines or other organs sticking out of the navel.

The risk of these rare problems was seen to increase very slightly when women took asthma medications such as a bronchodilator or anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids about a month before the conception, or at any time during the first trimester.

Experts however advise that treating and controlling asthma is important since being sick itself may be worse for the unborn baby than the actual medications.

No amount of alcohol is OK in pregnancy

Though it is traditionally not frowned upon for newly expectant mothers to celebrate their good news with a small glass of wine, recent research seems to confirm what some experts have always maintained: no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy.

The risk is highest in the first trimester of pregnancy, particularly the latter half of the first trimester. The impact that any amount of drinking may have on a pregnancy can vary greatly, which is why experts caution against any kind of drinking in pregnancy.

Pregnant women who take prescription medications more often than what the doctor ordered may need prescription drug addiction treatment for her and her unborn child’s protection.


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