Antibiotics: In Pregnancy and Lactation

Antibiotics are commonly prescribed during pregnancy. The specific medication must be chosen carefully, however. Some antibiotics are OK to take during pregnancy, while others are not. Safety depends on various factors, including the type of antibiotic, when in your pregnancy you take the antibiotic, how much you take and for how long. Antibiotics generally considered safe during pregnancy: Amoxicillin, Ampicillin, Clindamycin, Erythromycin, Penicillin, Nitrofurantoin. Although there's no direct proof that these antibiotics cause birth defects, additional research is needed. In the meantime, use of these medications is still warranted in some cases.

Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed prescription medications for pregnant and lactating women. More than 10 million women are either pregnant or lactating in the United States at any one time, and they are administered antibiotics for many reasons. Because of the special considerations associated with fetal and newborn development, these women constitute a uniquely vulnerable population for which the risks of medication use must be separately assessed. In addition to the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic changes that may occur during pregnancy and lactation that can alter the effectiveness of drugs, there is the added concern of the possible teratogenic and toxic effects that medications may have on the developing fetus and newborn.

  • Safe use of anti‐infective agents
  • Current investigations in broad spectrum antibiotics
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