Is It Safe To Take Antibiotics During Pregnancy
Generally speaking, antibiotics are considered safe.”Antibiotics are effective for many common infections and can be used during pregnancy,” confirms Dr. Salinger. Moreover, research suggests that around one in four pregnant women will be prescribed an antibiotic during pregnancy, which accounts for nearly 80 percent of prescription medications for pregnant women.
Dr. Salinger explains that medications, including antibiotics, are grouped into risk categories to help determine whether they are safe to take during pregnancy. They are grouped into the following categories:
- Category A and B: Medications considered safe for pregnant people
- Category C: Medications considered generally safe but should only be used if necessary, as there are risks
- Category D: Medications known to cause potential harm, but may be taken if the benefit is greater than the risk of harm
- Category X: Medications that should not be used during pregnancy
Uti Treatment During Pregnancy
Youâll take antibiotics for 3 to 7 days or as your doctor recommends. If your infection makes you feel uncomfortable, your doctor will probably start your treatment before you get your urine test results.
Your symptoms should go away in 3 days. Take all of your medication on schedule anyway. Donât stop it early, even if your symptoms fade.
Many common antibioticsamoxicillin, erythromycin, and penicillin, for example are considered safe for pregnant women. Your doctor wouldnât prescribe others, such as ciprofloxacin , sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, or trimethoprim , that can affect your babyâs development.
Amoxicillin And Clavulanic Acid
This sheet is about exposure to amoxicillin and clavulanic acid in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. This information should not take the place of medical care and advice from your healthcare provider.
What is amoxicillin and clavulanic acid?
These 2 medications are combined to make an antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections. Amoxicillin is a penicillin-like antibiotic and clavulanic acid is a drug that increases the effectiveness of amoxicillin. Some brand names include Amoclav®, Augmentin XR® and Clavamox®.
Sometimes when people find out they are pregnant, they think about changing how they take their medication, or stopping their medication altogether. However, it is important to talk with your healthcare providers before making any changes to how you take this medication. Your healthcare providers can talk with you about the benefits of treating your condition and the risks of untreated illness during pregnancy.
I take amoxicillin and clavulanic acid. Can it make it harder for me to get pregnant?
Studies have not been done to know if taking amoxicillin and clavulanic acid can make it harder to get pregnant.
Does taking amoxicillin and clavulanic acid increase the chance for miscarriage?
Miscarriage can occur in any pregnancy. Studies have not been done to see if amoxicillin and clavulanic acid increases the chance for miscarriage.
Does taking amoxicillin and clavulanic acid increase the chance of birth defects?
Please click here for references.
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What Precautions To Take When Having Antibiotics In Pregnancy
Antibiotics account for 80% of all prescribed medication in pregnant women . Therefore, it is important to be aware of precautions to minimize fetal and maternal toxicity from antibiotics.
- Inform your doctor that you are pregnant before getting treated for any infection. Discuss with your healthcare provider all medications that you are on, including dietary supplements and herbal products.
- Use antibiotics only when prescribed by a doctor. The dosage of antibiotics varies for pregnant women. Therefore, self-medication with the usual dose may cause fetal harm and also increase the risk of antibiotic resistance.
- Consult a doctor whenever you suspect that you have an infection. Antibiotics cannot treat viral infections, such as cold and flu. Get a proper diagnosis before taking any antibiotics.
- Take antibiotics as per the prescribed dosage and course. Do not stop the medication when symptoms subside. Not completing an antibiotic course may cause the recurrence of infection with more severity.
Category A And B Drugs
The FDA requires a relatively large amount of high-quality data on a medication for a drug to be classified within Pregnancy Category A, and it is common for pregnant people to safely take Category B medications, such as the antibiotic Augmentin .
Penicillin, the most commonly used antibiotic during pregnancy, has not been found to be associated with increased risk for about 30 different congenital disorders, according to The National Birth Defects Prevention Study.
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Are Antibiotics Safe For Me And My Unborn Baby
Antibiotics are commonly prescribed during pregnancy, but the specific type of medication should be chosen carefully.
Antibiotics are generally safe for mom and baby, Dr. Baldwin said. There are certain antibiotics that arent given during pregnancy due to risks of birth defects, so its always best to check with your provider whether certain ones are safe to use before taking anything.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administrations list of pharmaceutical pregnancy categories help doctors know the prenatal safety of medications.
- Common antibiotics reported to be used in pregnancy include cephalosporins like cephalexin, penicillin like amoxicillin and certain erythromycins, azithromycin and clindamycin.
- Other antibiotics, such as Bactrim, tetracycline and sulfonamides, are believed to pose risks during pregnancy and should generally be avoided.
If an antibiotic is the best way to treat a condition, your doctor will always prescribe the safest one, Dr. Baldwin reassured. You can always ask your doctor for the pregnant category designation of any medication you may be prescribed.
How Common Are Utis During Pregnancy
At least 5 percent of women can expect to develop at least one UTI during pregnancy those who develop one have a 1 in 3 chance of an encore later.
During pregnancy, the compression of your expanding uterus, the muscle-relaxing hormones flooding your body and the challenge of keeping your perineal area clean due to your baby bump make it even easier for intestinal bacteria to enter your urinary tract, leading to UTIs.
While bladder infections are more common among non-pregnant women, kidney infections are about twice as common in expecting women as bladder infections. That said, theyre still quite rare, occurring in only about 2 percent of pregnancies.
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Taking Antibiotics During Pregnancy
While many antibiotics may be safe during pregnancy, the ones that arent can be extremely dangerous. For example, Bactrim and Macrobid treatments during pregnancy have been linked with birth defects, including brain malformations and heart defects. Cleft lips and palates may also be a more significant risk when a woman is prescribed certain antibiotics during pregnancy.
Unfortunately, research has shown that the most commonly prescribed antibiotics during pregnancy are also the most dangerous. The CDC found that among pregnant women with UTIs in 2014, 4 in 10 were prescribed the antibiotics nitrofurantoin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole in early pregnancy, which have been linked to birth defects.
Antibiotics considered dangerous during pregnancy are riskiest during the first trimester, and many women are prescribed them before they know theyre pregnant.
Side Effects Of Taking Antibiotics
If you take antibiotics, youre likely to have side effects. These mostly affect the stomach and intestines, and they include things like:
Some antibiotics can make you sick. Among the signs of an allergic reaction are:
- Difficulty breathing
If you have an allergic reaction after taking antibiotics, you should talk to your doctor.
People who have anaphylaxis have a hard time breathing, a tight throat, and a lot of swelling in their throats.
Anaphylaxis is a very bad allergic reaction. You should go to the hospital right away.
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How Is The Safety Of Antibiotics Ascertained
Antibiotics are essential and have been used in pregnancy safely for years. The Food and Drug Administration rates certain antibiotics in categories of A, B, C, D and X, based on their safety during pregnancy. Medications under A and B are usually considered to be safe for pregnant women. In 2011, the committee of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists validated the safety of antibiotics that are commonly prescribed in pregnancy. The conclusions were drawn based on the following:
- Investigations conducted on lab animals
- Studies on women using antibiotics and showing a low risk of birth defects
- Several years of use of antibiotics in obstetrics
Why Might I Need An Antibiotic During Pregnancy
Although not every ache and pain will require medications or antibiotics, if you have an infection caused by bacteria, youll want to get it treated. Thats because if your infection is left untreated, it could lead to a host of problems and complications for you and your baby.
Antibiotics work to rid our bodies of bacteria that may not normally be present, Dr. Baldwin said. During pregnancy, certain conditions like urinary tract infections and vaginal infections may need to be treated with antibiotics. There are also conditions during pregnancy where antibiotics are given to decrease the risk of the fetus getting an infection, such as group B strep.
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Medications You Should Definitely Avoid During Pregnancy:
Make sure to avoid the following:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors: These are prescribed for hypertension or congestive heart failure, and can cause miscarriage or birth defects.
- Pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine , especially if taken during the first trimester, may cause stomach defects or affect blood flow to the placenta though some doctors will recommend in limited amounts in the second and third trimesters. Also avoid cough and cold meds that contain alcohol or NSAIDs.
- Isotretinoin : This medication for cystic acne raises the risk of miscarriage and physical and mental defects in babies.
- Methotrexate: Used to treat psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, methotrexate increases the risk of miscarriage and birth defects.
- Valproic acid: Used for epilepsy, bipolar disorder and sometimes migraines, valproic acid can cause major birth defects, such as a heart defect, and behavior and learning problems. Check with your practitioner if valproic acid can be changed to another medication prior to pregnancy.
Talk With Your Doctor
If you need to take amoxicillin during pregnancy, communicate with your doctor. Be sure to keep the following in mind:
- Make sure to tell your doctor about any other medications youre taking . This can help your doctor watch for any risky drug interactions.
- You should take the drug exactly how its prescribed and until the prescription is finished. Stopping treatment early may cause bacteria to become resistant.
- Do not take amoxicillin if youre allergic to amoxicillin, penicillin, or cephalosporin antibiotics such as cefazolin, cefaclor, and cephalexin.
Following these steps can help ensure that you keep you and your pregnancy as healthy as possible.
Last medically reviewed on July 25, 2016
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Can I Take Antibiotics During Pregnancy
28 April, 2021
Have you ever been told that antibiotics are harmful during pregnancy? Is it true? In this article, well answer some of the most common questions about taking antibiotics during pregnancy.
The truth is that, although there are some restrictions, antibiotics are essential for treating some common conditions, like urinary tract infections. However, you should only take them if you have a prescription from a doctor because self-medication could be counterproductive.
Is It Safe To Take Antibiotics While Im Pregnant
When youre pregnant, theres usually a laundry list of to-dos and not-to-dos for the nine months youre growing a baby or babies. On the list of no-nos are some medicationseven over-the-counter ones.
While any medication should be only used if absolutely necessary and prescribed by your health care provider, what happens if you get sick and require an antibiotic? Should you take it?
We spoke with Salina Baldwin, DO, a Banner Health OBGYN in Arizona, who shared what you should know about taking antibiotics during pregnancy.
Take Amoxicillin Only When Absolutely Necessary
If you think you can make it through an infection without antibiotics, that might be your best course of action during pregnancy. “I wouldn’t advise antibiotic prescription for the majority of upper respiratory infections unless they are severe,” notes Dr. Beatty. “This is especially true in the first trimester when the baby is being structurally formed.”
If your symptoms make it difficult for you to function, do not hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider. Antibiotics might be the best course of action, as untreated infections can present their own risks. Even if your symptoms are on the milder side, it is always a good idea to seek professional medical care.
What Is The Safest Antibiotic For Uti During Pregnancy
The antibiotic choice may depend on the organism identified in the urine culture. Commonly prescribed include Amoxicillin, Ampicillin, Cephalosporins, Nitrofurantoin, and Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole. Some recent findings suggest a link between the use of sulfa derivatives and Nitrofurantoin and congenital disabilities if prescribed in the first trimester. Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole should be avoided in late pregnancy due to the potential risk of the newborn developing kernicterus .
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Why Might You Need Antibiotics During Pregnancy
A dentist may prescribe antibiotics under several conditions, as an article in the International Dental Journal describes, including:
- If a patient has an odontogenic infection inside a tooth, such as a dental abscess
- If a patient has a non-odontogenic infection, such as a salivary gland infection
- If a patient scheduled to undergo dental treatment is at high risk of developing infective endocarditis, a type of heart infection
Dentists prescribe antibiotics carefully, as inappropriate use of antibiotics can lead to drug-resistant bacteria. Additionally, taking antibiotics can cause severe side effects in certain situations. If a pregnant woman has any of the conditions listed above, her dental and medical providers should work together to determine the best treatment plan.
It is generally safe to perform dental work on pregnant patients, according to the Mayo Clinic. In particular, if a pregnant woman has severe oral pain or swelling, it’s important to see a dentist immediately and take any medications as directed. Not treating an infection during pregnancy can have serious consequences that outweigh the possible risks of taking antibiotics during pregnancy. For this reason, you should always discuss any health concerns you have oral or otherwise with your doctor or dental care provider.
Is It Safe To Take Antibiotics When Pregnant
Studies have shown some antibiotics to be safe during pregnancy, while some may have potential adverse effects on the mother or fetus. The safety may also depend on the dose, duration of antibiotic treatment, and gestational age. Additionally, metabolic and immunological changes during pregnancy may change the behavior of drugs inside the body and impact antibiotic therapy . Therefore, you should take antibiotics only when prescribed by the doctor.
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The Reality About Drug Safety Classifications
Ethical considerations preclude conducting drug trials in pregnant people, so for many drugs, adequate and well-controlled studies have not been done, Dr. Fuks says. There might be negative fetal effects associated with some Category B drugs that aren’t currently recognized, for example. ” should only be prescribed in situations where the health care provider strongly believes that the benefit of its use largely outweighs any possible risks to the fetus and the pregnancy,” Dr. Fuks says.
Though many antibiotics such as penicillin have been used safely for decades, resistant strains of bacteria are forcing doctors to use a wider array of antibiotics. Safety depends on various factors, including the type of antibiotic, when in your pregnancy you take the antibiotic, dosage, and duration of use.
Is It Safe To Take Antibiotics While Pregnant
Its not uncommon for women to take antibiotics when pregnant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 68.9% of women with a urinary tract infection filled an antibiotic prescription during pregnancy in 2013-2015.
Even though its relatively common, does that make it safe? Not always.
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Strengths And Limitations Of Study
The strengths of this study lie mainly in the method used for data collection. The advantage of using an online forum to collect data was that it provided access to a wide range of participants across the UK. Online forum postings increase the perceived sense of anonymity in participants, which can increase disclosure compared to face-to-face interviews. Data was also immediately available for analysis and circumvented transcription errors arising from interviews.
Using an online forum, however, also contributed to the limitations of this study. Women used descriptive text and emoticons to express their feelings, but using an online forum could result in a loss of insight that facial expressions or verbal tone can offer to exploring perceptions. It was difficult to characterise the exact demographics of website users and only views of women who had access to the internet and had subscribed to the forum could be analysed. Different cultural groups in the UK may also have different norms of behaviour in pregnancy and the views of women from varying backgrounds may differ from what was captured from the forum. Therefore, the interpretation and transferability of the results should be made within this context and broad generalisations may not be appropriate.
What Antibiotics Are Not Safe During Pregnancy
When a baby is exposed to some medications, they can harm your babys growth and development. Its important to know which antibiotics arent safe at any time during pregnancy. You should also know which ones might only be safe at certain times. This way, you know which ones to avoid and when.
Similar to the above section, this list doesnt discuss all antibiotic classes. Be sure to discuss your antibiotic regimen with your healthcare provider before starting it.
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