Pharmaceutical Drugs Effects

1230 Words 5 Pages
The Effects of Pharmaceutical Drugs on Pregnancies
Do the benefits outweigh the risks that affect both mother and child?
Word Count:

Effects of Pharmaceutical Drugs on Pregnancies

Pharmaceutical drugs are defined as drugs prescribed by a doctor or bought over-the-counter(OTC) for medicinal purposes. In relation to pregnancies, prescription and OTC drugs can affect them in both positive and negative ways. They have helped women maintain health conditions and aid in overcoming the discomforts a pregnancy brings, yet have the potential to cause birth defects. Studies have been rather limited as most have been conducted on animals, but have led to some insight on the teratogenic risks that drugs pose: disturbances to the
…show more content…
From a whole population study done by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, 83 percent of pregnant women between the years 2004-2006, were dispensed prescription drugs at some point in their pregnancy whether it was three months prior to becoming pregnant, during the pregnancy, or three months post pregnancy (Engeland et al., 2008). Similarly, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a federal-government research institute, has reported that women in the U.S. take on average three to five prescription drugs while pregnant (National Institute on Drug Abuse, [NIDA], 2015). With the rising numbers in prevalence of use, it is essential to not underestimate the effects of these …show more content…
Because “animal studies will not always predict teratogenic risks in humans and pregnant women are generally excluded from clinical trials” testing a drug’s safety, very little is actually known about the effects drugs have on a pregnancy (Smolina et al., 2015). Additionally, researchers from the University College London Institute of Health have estimated that two-three percent of births result in congenital malformations, with one percent that attribute to prescription drug use which makes it difficult to get funding for testing and research because such a low percentage of the population is being affected (Chan, Wong, Sutcliffe, 2012). Generally, though, drugs increase the chance of birth defects and complications during a pregnancy. Everything a woman ingests can potentially affect her baby positively or negatively. The American Pregnancy Association states that any drugs taken by a pregnant woman will cross through the placenta which could cause the baby to be underdeveloped and underweight as well as interfering with the contraction of the uterus which can affect blood supply to the baby or cause a premature birth (American Pregnancy Association, 2015).Therefore, one must consider if the benefits outweigh the

Related Documents