Medicines during pregnancy Veselības projekti Latvijai

Medicines during pregnancy

Because of tragedies caused by thalidomide and DES (dietilstilbestrol, sinestrol), certainty of harmful impact of drugs and chemicals on the fetus strengthened in the last 30 years.

Thalidomide has been used since 1957 for reduction of gestational toxicosis. 10 000 children with phocomelia (in-born pathology - a baby has small stumps instead of arms and legs) were born during four years in Europe. Researchers became aware in four years that the defect was caused by medicine used by pregnant women against nausea. As a result of the tragedy, the International Drug Monitoring Program was started by WHO.

DES (dietilstilbestrol, sinestrol) were used for pregnancy maintenance from 1939 till the 1970s (in the former USSR – even till the early 1990s). It appeared that the children, whose mothers used the medicine, suffered from vaginal and testicular tumors, and the mothers were exposed to increased risk of breast cancer.

Nevertheless, drug prescription has not reduced for the pregnancy period, though the mechanism of action of many chemical compounds is still not clear completely and information on safety of the specific drugs used at the pregnancy period is limited.

The sole medicines, which could be used at the pregnancy period, if absolutely necessary, are those, which safety is proved with sufficient and reliable information. Of course, certain medicines (such as antiepileptics) are to be used, even being aware of its teratogenic (harmful to the fetus) effect. But it is showed by studies that medicines are generally used at the pregnancy period not because of chronic or grave diseases. A pregnant woman should find another - more natural - solution of elimination of the symptoms characteristic for pregnancy, instead of medicines.

When citing, reference to the Society Veselības projekti Latvijai is obligatory.