Think about what medicine you’re taking, why you’re taking it, and what’s in it.
The use of any medicine during pregnancy requires careful consideration of both risks and benefits by the health professional caring for you. Any decision about taking a medicine during pregnancy should always:
- involve your health professional and you
- take into account:
- all available information on the medicine, and
- your specific circumstances.
There are some medicines that should be used with caution or avoided during pregnancy. You should always talk to your doctor or health professional about using medicines when you are pregnant.
What about complementary medicines?
Remember that medicines don’t just come on prescription — they include over-the-counter and complementary medicines.
Complementary medicines (also known as ‘traditional’ or ‘alternative’ medicines) include vitamin, mineral, herbal, aromatherapy and homeopathic products. Many complementary medicines have not undergone the same level of research as prescription and over-the-counter medicines, so often less is known about their effectiveness, possible side effects and interactions both overall and during pregnancy.
Some medicines that you can buy from a supermarket, pharmacy, health food store or online may not be safe for use during pregnancy.
Vitamins specifically formulated for pregnancy
Some vitamin preparations are formulated specifically for use during pregnancy. This ensures correct intake of certain vitamins and minerals (such as folic acid) and avoids excess intake of other vitamins. It is advisable to talk to your healthcare professional about your specific nutritional needs during pregnancy.