Home Women's Health Medicines to Avoid During Pregnancy – What You Need to Know

Medicines to Avoid During Pregnancy – What You Need to Know

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Hey there, mama-to-be! 

Congratulations on your pregnancy, it is such a beautiful and exciting time. However, as you embark on this beautiful journey, it is important to be mindful of what you’re outing into your body. 

While there are a number of medicines out there that are safe to be used in pregnancy, there is also plenty of medicines to avoid during pregnancy at all costs. This is because these can cause birth defects, pregnancy loss, and even development issues in babies. 

Unfortunately, not all doctors are on the same page when it comes to which medicines are safe and which must be avoided, leaving pregnant women are confused and unsure about what they should and shouldn’t take. That is why I am here to help!

Let’s break down some of the common medications to avoid during pregnancy. 

Medications to Avoid While Pregnant

So, what medicines should you avoid during pregnancy? While there is certainty more than that will be covered in this blog. Here are some common medicines to avoid during pregnancy. 

NSAIDS (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory)

NSAIDS like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen are some commonly used medicines to treat inflammation, pain, and fever. These are generally safe to be taken in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. But it is never a bad idea to avoid the in the third trimester. 

These must be avoided as they can increase the risk of premature closure of the ductus arteriosus. This is a blood vessel present in the fetus that allows the blood to flow to the fetus’s lungs. 

Accutane (isotretinoin)

Accutane is a very common medicine that is prescribed by doctors to treat severe acne. While it is one of the best medications to treat acne, it is also known to cause serious birth defects if it is taken during pregnancy. It is therefore one of the recommended medicines to avoid during pregnancy. 

Doctors at the best hospitals in Pakistan i.e. Doctors Hospital and Hameed Latif Hospital say that women who take Accutane are required to use two forms of birth control and undergo regular pregnancy tests to ensure they are not pregnant while taking medications. 

Read the best acne creams in Pakistan to explore more. 

ACE Inhibitors

ACE inhibitors are medicines that are used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. However, they can be very harmful when taken at the time of pregnancy. 

These can be really harmful to developing fetuses, can cause lung problems, and can potentially cause kidney damage. Other complications have also been observed while consuming ACE inhibitors.  

If you are someone who is expecting and are taking ACE inhibitors, the best way to protect yourself is to discuss other safe medicines for your heart. So, Dr. Rabbia Ashraf who is one of the top gynecologists in Lahore says that, avoid ACE inhibitors at all costs as these are the medicines to avoid during pregnancy.  

Anti-Seizure Medications

If you have a seizure disorder, you may be taking anti-seizure medications to control your symptoms. Be aware that there are some seizure medications that can cause birth defects. 

Some of these are commonly known as phenobarbital and valproic acid. In case you are taking anti-seizure medications, talk to your doctor. It is best to go for alternative medicines in this case, as the health of the baby is more important than anything else.  

Read more on Tegral Tablet to explore more. 


A lot of women that struggle with depression and anxiety have this question of whether it is safe to use antidepressants during pregnancy or not. A question appears if anti-depressants are also medicines to avoid during pregnancy. While there are some anti-depressants that are considered to be safe to be used while pregnant, there are others that are not. 

A study on the use of antidepressants during pregnancy said “Antidepressants are also crucial for pregnant women regardless of whether depression is mild to moderate or severe to prevent both fetus and mother complications, but the problem with antidepressants is that they cause adverse events almost which those that are the same in pregnant women with depression that is not treated.”

To stay from birth defects, it is best to discuss with your doctor the alternative medicines that you can take to manage your depression during pregnancy. 

Medications That Are Safe in Pregnancy

Although it is told again and again to stay cautious during pregnancy about medicines to avoid during pregnancy, here are some that you can use. 

  • Antacids – You can take Antacids during pregnancy containing calcium carbonates (Mylanta, Tums, etc.) which also offer a dose of calcium. These can be used when you are expecting, as a proton pump inhibitor. 
  • Acetaminophen – This is an active ingredient in Tylenol. It is approved by the best gynecologists to be used for short-term pain and fever. 
  • Antihistamines – Diphenhydramine is the most commonly prescribed medicine during pregnancy. Though not all, many healthcare practitioners recommend loratadine (Claritin) though some urge to avoid it in the first trimester. Some recommend chlorpheniramine on a limited basis but most advise finding a better alternative. 
  • Antidiarrheal Treatment – Kaopectate is used in limited amounts and for limited periods of time, but make sure to ask your healthcare practitioner first. Remember that Pepto-Bismol ad other salicylates are medicines to avoid during pregnancy. 
  • Fiber Laxatives – Laxatives like Metamucil for constipation relief get the green light during pregnancy.  
  • Cough Medications – Cough medicines containing dextromethorphan including cough suppressants like Robitussin and Vicks 44, and expectorant Mucinex are safe to be used during pregnancy. 
  • Nasal Sprays – For a stuffy nose, formulas containing steroids are safe to be used during pregnancy. 

When to Visit Healthwire

Now that you know the Medicines to Avoid During Pregnancy, it is best that you stay away from them. And as far as the medicines that are safe to be taken during pregnancy are concerned, if you feel like buying any of these medicines, the best way is to contact Healthwire Pharmacy.

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