A very common concern when pregnant is medication use during pregnancy. Especially if you’ve just found out you are pregnant, you may wonder what medication is safe to take or not, especially if you have any medical conditions that entail necessary prescription medication if you can continue taking it.
Especially if you are a surrogate, you will want guidance on what you can take to address any discomforts like morning sickness, heartburn, backaches, the common cold, or a headache. Of course, you want to be comfortable and healthy but it’s also important to protect the health and safety of the baby.
Many women continue to take necessary prescription medication during pregnancy for many reasons like diabetes, seizures, depression, or other medical conditions. Still, the FDA has assigned letter categories to medicines based on their potential for risk to a fetus when it comes to pregnancy. For example, category A is considered the safest medication category, while Category X is never to be used during pregnancy.
Drug Categories Broken Down
Category A – Human studies show no risk
Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
Examples of Category A medications are Folic Acid, Levothyroxine, and Liothyronine.
Category B – No evidence of risk in studies
Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies on pregnant women.
Examples of Category B medications are Acetaminophen, Amoxicillin, Metformin, and Zofran.
Category C – Risk cannot be ruled out
Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies on humans. Still, potential benefits may warrant the use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.
Some examples of Category C medications are Amlodipine, Guaifenesin, Zoloft
Category D – Positive evidence of risk
There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.
Some examples of Category D medications are: Aspirin, Dilantin, Lithium
Category X – Contraindicated in pregnancy
Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use of the drug in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
Some examples of Category X medications are: Accutane, Methotrexate, Thalomid
The Takeaway on Medications and Surrogacy
It can be overwhelming if you’re not feeling well and unsure of what you can and can’t take. Therefore, the very best thing to do is speak to your doctor. That way, you can discuss any symptoms you may be having and review what medication, if any, you can take to address it.
If you are a surrogate and your doctor prescribes you on any medication, you may want to ask if this is something you should mention to the intended parents. We want to ensure open communication so that everyone can determine what course of action is best for both you and the baby.