The Effects Of Pharmaceutical Drugs On Pregnancy

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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 pregnant women and their child in positive and negative ways. These pharmaceutical drugs have helped women maintain health conditions and aid in overcoming the discomforts a pregnancy brings, yet have the potential to cause harm to the fetus. Studies have been rather limited in both their research and results, but have led to some insight on the risks that drugs pose: disturbances to the development of the fetus which can lead to birth defects . Overall, drugs taken during a pregnancy offer benefits and risks that affect both mother and child. In order to understand the effects drugs have on pregnancies, it is crucial to first understand why they are being taken. Certain trends and patterns have been linked to prescription drug use as shown by a population-based observational study funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health (2015). Their research discovered that smoking, being twenty-five years or younger, carrying multiple fetuses, and having one or more chronic …show more content…
Opioids, including oxycodone, are used to alleviate pain, especially in the instance of medical procedures. Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) such valproate are targeted towards slowing down the CNS to treat disorders such as epilepsy and seizures. A pregnancy often brings discomforts such as headaches, muscle aches, and cramps which leads many women to turn to OTC drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Some drugs are safe to take at certain points in the pregnancy, but dangerous at others. Healthwise, a nonprofit global health provider, generally recommends that all medicine is especially avoided during the first three months because that’s when the baby’s organs start to form (as cited by WebMD,

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