Medications in Pregnancy and Lactation: Part 2. Drugs With Minimal or Unknown Human Teratogenic Effect

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This is the second of a two-part series on the use of medication during pregnancy and lactation. Pregnancy risk factors together with an increased incidence of chronic diseases and the rise in mean maternal age predict an increase in medication use during gestation. However, as highlighted in the first installment of this series, relatively few medications have specifically been tested for safety and efficacy during pregnancy, and, therefore, responses to those inquiries can be uninformed and inaccurate. Whereas the first installment provided new insight into the nature of medications with known human teratogenic effects, this part concentrates on drugs with minimal or no known human teratogenic effect. It is important that clinicians become familiar with all of the aspects of the drugs they prescribe, in addition to the controversies surrounding them, through consultation with maternal–fetal medicine specialists and through references and Web sites providing up-to-date information in an effort to promote safer prescribing practices.

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