Harmful medication during pregnancy

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

Nearly all American women have required a prescription medication at some point in their lives. Whether it’s a pain reliever for an injury or an antibiotic for an infection, most women trust their doctors to prescribe the appropriate medication for their condition. When it comes to expectant mothers being prescribed medications, we assume doctors take extra care to not administer something that may cause harm to her or her unborn child. However, according to a recent peer reviewed article, MDs are seeing an alarming number of pregnant women being prescribed potentially harmful medications.

All medications taken frequently during pregnancy raise concerns for medical doctors. For certain benign conditions, prescription medication is unavoidable. These medications are under constant scrutiny by the FDA and medical community for their potential effect on expectant mothers and the fetus. While there are commonly prescribed medications that pose little to no threat to an unborn child, there are many that are strictly avoided by health care providers, most notably narcotic pain relievers.

According to an August report, roughly 40 percent of pregnant women on the Medicaid program were prescribed narcotic pain relievers such as codeine and hydrocodone. The concern with this abnormally high prescription rate is that these medications and many others are considered to have adverse affects on expectant mothers and the fetus. The study included an overall percentage of pregnant women who had received some kind of prescription medication including antibiotics and antifungals which can be used safely during pregnancy.

The high rate of potentially harmful medications prescribed to pregnant women is concerning. We trust our doctors to know what is best for us and our children. When a doctor knowingly prescribes medications that may cause harm to a woman or her unborn child they are teetering on the edge of negligence. If you or someone you love has been impacted by the negligent practices of a health care provider, you may benefit by speaking to a trusted medical malpractice attorney.

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