My thanks to DrugWatch.com, a comprehensive website database that includes up-to-date information about prescription and over-the-counter medications and potential side effects to aid in the protection of patients and consumers, for this week's guest post:
Popular Drugs Pose Serious Risks When Taken During Pregnancy
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in every 33 babies is born with a birth defect. A disturbing number of these are caused by the use of dangerous medications during pregnancy, and many can be prevented through greater awareness and safer practices.
Throughout the history of modern medicine, a number of popular medications have been linked to serious birth defects and fetal death after they have been on the market for quite some time. Some of the most widely prescribed include thalidomide, a medication used during the mid 1900s as a sedative and antiemetic agent, and Accutane, a medication used since the 1980s to treat severe acne. Clinical studies have shown that even a single dose of these medications taken during pregnancy can result in birth defects.
Many women who have suffered because of these medications have sought legal recourse against drug manufacturers through the use of a Thalidomide or Accutane lawyer. Consumer advocates have argued that in a number of instances, negligent drug companies have hidden or downplayed serious risks posed to pregnant women by their medications.
Even as efforts to protect pregnant women against such dangerous medications have grown, many measures taken by drug companies and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have fallen short. In the case of Accutane, even after the FDA required women taking the medication to use two forms of birth control and enroll in a mandatory registry, approximately 120 enrolled women reported pregnancies every year.
Experts around the nation continue to express astonishment and concern over the amount of dangerous drugs used by many pregnant women today. In today's environment of ubiquitous medication use, health care professionals are instructing women to speak with their doctor before taking any new medication, regardless of whether it is available by prescription or over-the-counter. Because even common pain medications such as Aleve and Aspirin can cause harm to a developing baby, patient advocates are warning women to air on the side of caution for their own safety and the safety of their baby.
For more information on drugs that can cause harmful effects during pregnancy, visit DrugWatch.com.