5 Everyday Medications that are Harmful to a Fetus

There may be times when you are pregnant and are suffering from a cold or some type of illness. Although your main goal at the time may be to get healthy and over the sickness, the most important thing you have to remember is your baby’s health. Extreme caution has to be taken when women are pregnant. You just can’t take any kind of medicine without first consulting your doctor to see how it may affect your unborn child. The baby’s health is a priority even if you feel miserable.

The good news is that there are many different types of medicine women can take without harming their unborn. There are also natural supplements you can take as well without causing a negative reaction in your body and possibly doing serious harm to your baby. Many women when they become pregnant, especially if it’s their first pregnancy, may not be aware of the harms of certain medication, even regular over-the-counter (OTC) medication, may have on their unborn babies.

As most of us know most OTC medications have some kind of side effect, especially if your body is not used to it or some ingredient in the medicine causes your body to have an adverse reaction to it. The fact is that pregnant women start out with a chance of having a baby with a birth defect. So there will be certain medications that will be safe to take during your pregnancy without causing effects on your baby, while others will not be safe at all due to its harmful effects on your child.

Here are a few medications that are harmful to an unborn baby.


Although this is one of the most common OTC medications on the market, and is safe for most adults, it is absolutely dangerous for your unborn baby. It can cause severe blood flow in your baby, particularly during the last trimester of your pregnancy. Aspirin relaxes blood vessels so the blood will circulate easily. In other words, it thin the blood. This is not good for unborn babies. The use of aspirin can also result in you or your baby bleeding profusely during childbirth. Avoid Bayer or Excedrin. Tylenol is usually okay for pregnant women to take.

Antianxiety drug

Anxiety can definitely be a part of any woman’s pregnancy. Being apprehensive about your pregnancy and the future is a common theme for many women, however, stay away from the anxiety drugs like Diazepam. This drug can cause addiction-related symptoms in your baby, including depression, irritability, shaking, and exaggerated reflexes or movements. To help calm your nerves, try practicing breathing methods, take a stroll in the park, listen to some soothing music or talk to someone in your support system.

Kaopectate; Pepto Bismol

Upset stomach, heartburn, constipation, all of these things happen to most pregnant women at some point during their pregnancy. Never take Pepto Bismol or any product like it to soothe your stomach while pregnant. It contains an ingredient called Bismuth subsalicylate that causes a decrease in your baby’s blood flow, especially during the last trimester. This can cause cognitive impairments, defects and even death to the baby while in the womb. A possible alternative is Imodium but consult your physician.

Dimetapp Cold

If you’re pregnant during the winter months, your likelihood of catching a cold will increase. Although summer colds can not be ruled out. Pregnant women are more susceptible to colds and flus. It’s very important to avoid large crowds or people that are sick during your pregnancy. That may sound difficult but at least you won’t get sick. The reason being is that some cold medicines are off limits for pregnant women. The drug or ingredient in cold medicine you need to avoid is Bromphen-iramine. It can cause deformities and congenital abnormalities in the newborn. Two possible alternatives are Claritin and Zyrtec. But you should contact your doctor before taking any cold or allergy medicine. Many cold and allergy medicines will have small dosages of the same or similar drugs based on their strength.  If you are taking the alternatives, take them in very light doses and avoid the extra-strength products.


If you are a coffee drinker, this may be a rude awakening if you become pregnant. You will have to avoid your caffeine fix during your pregnancy. Caffeine can affect the growth of your baby in the womb. It can cause a stillbirth, premature birth, low birth weight and miscarriage, and stimulate or increase the baby’s heart rate.  It also can decrease the blood flow to the placenta and the ability to absorb iron. Be careful with other foods and drinks such as tea, herbals, certain chocolate, and other OTC drugs like Anacin and Excedrin. hard to just take a small amount.Recommendations are to not exceed more than 200 milligrams and there are no alternatives.


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