Pregnant women experiencing a "drug drought"

Filed under: Your Pregnancy, Health & Safety: Babies, Medical Conditions, In The News

If you or your partner have ever had to take drugs during pregnancy, then you know what a juggling game it can be. Basically, doctors only prescribe a medication if the benefits outweigh the risks to the pregnancy and the developing fetus. Want to take a decongestant for your stuffy nose? Forget it. Need an inhaler for asthma? Go right ahead.

One of the reasons doctors know so little about how drugs affect unborn babies during pregnancy is because there has been so little research done. USAToday has a really interesting article on the "drug drought" for pregnant women right now. Though many pharmaceuticals are considered safe for conditions women have before they become pregnant, there are no new drugs in the pipeline for medications that treat pregnancy-related conditions such as pre-eclampsia.

Drug manufacturers say the drug drought is due to safety issues -- no one wants to test drugs on a fetus. Others think it's more financial in nature. Pregnancy-related conditions are often short-lived and are relatively uncommon, so there's no real money in treating them. Either way, it leaves some women with extremely limited options when problems do arise. In the case of pre-eclampsia, treatment often includes delivering the baby, even if it's too soon.

Did you have to take medications during pregnancy? If so, did this "drug drought" affect you?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.