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Gwynn Cassidy

Former Executive director at The Global SHE Initiative

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prescription meds

Do Prescriptions and Pregnancies Mix? FDA Is Studying Medications and Pregnancy To Find Out

Pregnancy & Postpartum

Did you - or would you - continue to take prescription medications during pregnancy? Or, did you - would you - suffer through pregnancy without your medication because of the possibility of complications to your unborn child? According to the FDA, an end to all of the prescriptions and pregnancy-safety unknowns could be in sight.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced plans to study the safety of medications taken during pregnancy with an eye toward using the data in future regulations and medical practice. Dubbed the Medication Exposure in Pregnancy Risk Evaluation Program (MEPREP) it’s a partnership between the FDA and researchers at the HMO Research Network Center for Education and Research in Therapeutics (CERT), Kaiser Permanente’s multiple research centers and Vanderbilt University.

According to the FDA, two-thirds of pregnant women take at least one prescription medicine during their pregnancies. But as the FDA points out in its announcement of the MEPREP, there just aren’t that many clinical trials completed to ascertain if medicines will have those side effects.

It's not surprising there are few clinical trials in this field. What woman in her right mind would volunteer her body to science when she’s carrying a baby? We’ll do a lot for science but when the health of our unborn child in on the line, we’re much more cautious. Fortunately, the FDA will be making good use of old data - looking at women who already gave birth and who already took those medications to start them off.

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