On this page:
- Tips to help you learn more about how medicines might affect you and your baby
- What products are regulated by FDA
- Types of issues you should report to FDA MedWatch
- Volunteer to sign up for a pregnancy exposure registry
Are you pregnant and taking medicines? You are not alone. There are about 6 million pregnancies in the U.S. each year, and 80% of those who are pregnant say that they take at least one medicine. Some may be getting treatment for a health problem they had before pregnancy, while others take medicines for health problems, like diabetes, morning sickness, or high blood pressure, that can start or get worse during pregnancy. Still others take medicines or get a vaccine before they find out they are pregnant.
Pregnancy can be an exciting time. It can also make you feel uneasy if you are not sure whether the medicines you are taking may affect your developing fetus. Many medicines are safe to use during pregnancy. For other medicines, there may be less information about whether they are safe to use during pregnancy.
Always talk with your health care provider before you take any medicines, dietary supplements, or vitamins.
Consider asking these questions when talking with your health care provider:
- Will I need to change my medicines if I want to get pregnant or if I find out I am pregnant? Before you get pregnant, make a plan with your health care provider to help you safely use your medicines.
- How might this medicine affect my pregnancy? Ask your health care provider about the benefits and risks of taking this medicine.
- Are there medicines and supplements I should avoid? Some medicines may harm your developing fetus during different stages of pregnancy. Your health care provider may have you take something else while you are pregnant.
- Will I need to take more or less of my medicine? Your heart and kidneys work harder when you are pregnant. This may make some medicines pass through your body faster than usual.
- Can I keep taking this medicine when I start breastfeeding? Some medicines can get into your breast milk and may affect your baby.
- What medicines should I take when I am pregnant? Ask your health care provider what medicines to take while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Talk with your health care provider about taking prenatal vitamins. Some prenatal vitamins may have too much or too little of what you might need during pregnancy.
What is folic acid? Folic acid helps to prevent birth defects of the baby’s brain or spine. Ask your health care provider about how much folic acid you should take before you become pregnant and through the first part of your pregnancy.
Check the medicine label and other information you get with your medicine to learn about the possible risks during pregnancy. The label tells you what is known about how the medicine might affect you and your developing fetus.
Prescription medicine information
Prescription medicine labels contain helpful information about a medicine's risks during pregnancy. The labels may also have information on whether the medicine gets into breast milk and how it could possibly affect the baby.
Ask your health care provider about the information you read online. Some websites say certain medicines are or are not safe to take during pregnancy. You should always check with your health care provider first. Do not trust that a product is safe just because it says "natural."
- FDA Pharmacists Help You Use Medicines Safely
- Medicine and Pregnancy (from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
First, tell your health care provider about any problems you have with your medicine. Also, tell FDA about any serious problems you have after taking a medicine.
You should report problems like serious side effects and product quality problems. You should also report product use errors, such as accidentally taking the wrong dose or wrong medicine, that are related to unclear use or dosing instructions. Report problems or use errors with these products:
- Human medicines, including vaccines
- Medical devices
- Blood products and other biologics
- Medical foods prescribed by a health care provider and intended to help manage a disease or health condition (this does not include meal replacements or diet shakes)
- Unexpected side effects or adverse events
- Product quality problems
- Product use/medication errors that can be prevented
- Therapeutic failures
How to report
- Call 1-800-FDA-1088 to get a reporting form sent to you by mail.
- Report problems to FDA online. Learn more about reporting problems to FDA.
- For vaccines, report to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) online.
Pregnancy exposure registries are research studies that collect information about the effect that prescription medicines taken or vaccines received during pregnancy may have on you and your developing fetus. These studies collect information from those who are pregnant and who are taking or have taken a certain medicine or received a certain vaccine while pregnant. Some pregnancy exposure registries collect information from those who are pregnant but have not taken a certain medicine or received a certain vaccine. Some pregnancy exposure registry studies also collect information about newborn babies for a period of time after birth.
You can volunteer to join a pregnancy exposure registry (if one is open and enrolling). The information collected can help health care providers and others who are pregnant to learn more about the safety of medicines and vaccines used during pregnancy.
- Help others who are pregnant by sharing your experiences with medicines and vaccines.
- You will be asked to provide information about your health and possibly your baby's health.
To learn more about pregnancy exposure registries visit www.fda.gov/pregnancyregistries
- Get information about a specific drug
- Pregnant? Breastfeeding? FDA Aims to Improve Drug Information (Consumer Update)
- Pregnancy tips
- FDA Pharmacists Help You Use Medicines Safely
- Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling Information for Health Professionals
- Pregnancy Exposure Registry Information for Health Professionals