Treating for Two: Safer Medication Use in Pregnancy Initiative: CDC is committed to working with its partners, other federal agencies, and the public to build a comprehensive approach to
improve the quality of data on this subject, translate this information into safe and effective healthcare for pregnant women, and make this information easily accessible to women and their healthcare providers. This initiative aims not only to prevent birth defects, but also to make mothers healthier, by working to identify the best alternatives for treatment of common conditions during pregnancy and during the childbearing years in general. Read more about the Treating for Two initiative in this fact sheet.
Research: CDC funds a large study of birth defects called the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS). Through the NBDPS, we have been building the infrastructure for birth defects research for more than a decade. Using NBDPS data, we are studying how prescription or over-the-counter medications and dietary or herbal products used during pregnancy affect the risk of birth defects.
Technical expertise: CDC works with staff from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other professionals to better understand the effects of medication use during pregnancy and ways to prevent harmful effects. CDC also acts in an advisory role for several different organizations, including providing technical expertise to many pregnancy registries monitoring specific medications such as epilepsy medications.
CDC acts in an advisory role for several different organizations.
- Provides technical expertise to several pregnancy registries, including those for anti-retroviral and anti-epileptic drugs. (The Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry) (Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry)
- Provides technical expertise to the Vaccines and Medications in Pregnancy Surveillance System (VAMPSS) that collects data on influenza vaccine, anti-influenza medications, and allergy/asthma medications.
- Serves as ad hoc members of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory Committees as needed.
- Participates in workshops on the effects of medication use in pregnancy and the conduct of pregnancy registries sponsored by the Teratology Society (2009) and the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (2005, 2009, 2012), Drug Information Association (2004, 2006, 2010) and the National Children’s Study (2002–03), and other federal and nonfederal agencies (Concepts and Strategies to Actively Monitor the Risks of Medications in Pregnancy, 2000).