Drugs To Avoid During Pregnancy: Critical Considerations

Medical experts strongly advise against the use of any medication during the first trimester of pregnancy. This precaution is crucial because this period is particularly susceptible to potential side effects, including birth defects and other undesired outcomes.

Nevertheless, there are situations where medication may be necessary, in which case it is imperative to consult your physician. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with their diligent research teams, thoroughly assesses the effects of each medication on pregnant women before it is approved for market release.

While the following is a list of medicines that should be avoided during pregnancy, it is important to note that this list may not be exhaustive, as there are numerous other drugs that can pose significant risks to women. Therefore, it is always advisable to discuss any medication with your doctor before using it if you are pregnant.

1) Antibiotics Drugs to avoid during pregnancy

  • Fluoroquinolones (such as ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, levofloxacin, and norfloxacin)
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Streptomycin
  • Sulfonamides (such as sulfasalazine and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole)
  • Tetracycline

⇒Abnormalities Caused By These Drugs

  • Possibility of bone and joint abnormalities (seen only in animals)

2) Anticonvulsants drugs to avoid during pregnancy

  • Carbamazepine
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin
  • Valproate

⇒Abnormalities Caused By These Drugs

  • Bleeding problems in the newborn. This Problem Can be prevented by Taking Vitamin K Orally 30 Days Before Delivery
  • Cause Risk of birth defects, including neural tube defects (such as spina bifida)
  • Valproate Cause Some (1%) risk of birth defects, including neural tube defects (such as a meningomyelocele), cleft palate, and defects of the face,  the heart, skull, limbs, and  spine

3) Antihypertensives Drugs to avoid during pregnancy

a) Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors

  • Captopril
  • Benazepril
  • Fosinopril
  • Enalapril
  • Lisinopril
  • Quinapril
  • Ramipril
  • Trandolapril
  • Perindopril

⇒ Abnormalities Caused By These Drugs:

  • Serious Injury To The Fetus,
  • May Cause Kidney Damage In The Fetus,
  • Reduce Amniotic Fluid,
  • Also Cause Defects Of Lungs, Face and Limbs

b) Calcium Channel Blockers

  • Isradipine
  • Nisoldipine
  • Amlodipine
  • Verapamil
  • Nifedipine (sustained-release only)
  • Diltiazem(sustained-release only)
  • Nicardipine
  • Felodipine

⇒ Abnormalities Caused By CCB:

  • Fluid retention in the ankles,
  • Dizziness,
  • headache,
  • flushing,
  • heartburn,
  • an abnormally fast heart rate (tachycardia), and
  • enlarged gums.
  • Verapamil also caused Constipation.

c) Beta-Blockers drugs to avoid during pregnancy

  • Atenolol
  • Bisoprolol
  • Metoprolol
  • Acebutolol
  • Nadolol
  • Penbutolol
  • Propranolol
  • Betaxolol
  • Carteolol
  • Timolol
  • Nebivolol
  • Pindolol

⇒ Problems Caused By Beta-Blockers:

  • Beta-Blockers Caused Slow Growth Rate In The Fetus and
  • Also Cause Low Level Of Blood Sugar And Low Heart Rate.

d) Thiazide Diuretics drugs to avoid during pregnancy

  • Chlorothiazide
  • Bendroflumethiazide
  • Hydroflumethiazide
  • Chlorthalidone
  • Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Methyclothiazide
  • Metolazone
  • Indapamide

⇒ Problems Caused By Diuretics:

Taking Thiazide Diuretics During Pregnancy Will Cause Decrease In The Level Of oxygen, Potassium Sodium. Also, Decrease the number of  Platelets  In The Fetus. Inadequate Growth Before Birth.

4) Antianxiety drugs to avoid during pregnancy

  • Diazepam

⇒ Abnormalities Caused By Diazepam :

When This Drug Is Taken In The Third Trimester Of Pregnancy It causes irritability, exaggerated reflexes in the newborn depression, and shaking.

5) Mood-stabilizing drugs to avoid during pregnancy

  • Lithium

⇒ Abnormalities:

Poor feeding, Lethargy, reduced muscle tone, nephrogenic diabetes insipidus in the newborn, And under activity of the thyroid gland.

6) Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

  • Naproxen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin and other salicylates

⇒ Problems Or Abnormalities :

When the medication is taken in large doses, probably miscarriages during the first trimester, a delay within the begin of labor, premature closing of the connection between the aorta and artery to the lungs (ductus arteriosus), jaundice, necrotizing enterocolitis (damage to the liner of the intestine), and (occasionally) brain injury within the fetus and bleeding issues within the woman throughout and after delivery and/or within the newborn

When the medication is taken late in pregnancy, a decrease in the amount of fluid around the developing fetus.

7)Sex Hormones:

  • Synthetic progestins (but not the low doses used in oral contraceptives)
  • Danazol

(When Synthetic Progestin And Danazol  are taken In The early stages Of pregnancy, masculinization of a female fetus’s genitals, sometimes requiring surgery for correction)

  • Diethylstilbestrol (DES)

(Abnormalities of the penis in sons. Abnormalities of the uterus, an increased risk of vaginal cancer, menstrual problems, and complications during pregnancy in daughters)


Vaccines for polio, measles, mumps or yellow fever

This Vaccine causes Potential infection of the placenta and developing a fetus.

Vaccine for chickenpox (varicella) and rubella.

This Is Associated With Unknow Risks.

9)Drugs Used In Skin Treatment:

  • Isotretinoin
  • Etretinate

⇒ Problems:

Both Of These Drugs Cause Birth defects, such as small ears,  heart defects, and hydrocephalus.

While Isotretinoin Also Cause  Intellectual disability And Risk of miscarriage.

10) Oral and diabetic drugs to avoid during pregnancy

  • Metformin
  • Glyburide
  • Tolbutamide
  • Chlorpropamide

⇒ Problems/Abnormalities Caused By These Drugs :

Inadequate control of diabetes in pregnant women when a Pregnant woman with type 2 diabetes Take The Drugs, the possibility of increased risk of miscarriage Is More. Also, Cause a  very low blood sugar level in the newborn.

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1 thought on “Drugs To Avoid During Pregnancy: Critical Considerations”

  1. Dr Gabari H.D

    What of the low dose aspirin 75mg given to those pregnant women with PIH?

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