CDC is committed to working with its partners and the public to build a comprehensive approach to address medication use in pregnancy. Our goals are to generate and interpret information about the effects of medications during pregnancy, to make that information available to women and health care providers, and to translate it into safe and effective health care for pregnant women.
To learn more about the effects of taking medications during pregnancy, CDC works with the FDA, drug manufacturers, and other professionals to help conduct studies on the effects of using medications during pregnancy and ways to prevent harmful effects. CDC also funds a large study of birth defects called the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. This study is working to identify risk factors for birth defects and to answer questions about some medications taken during pregnancy. CDC has also sponsored workshops and seminars about the risks of taking medications during pregnancy. In addition, 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).
- Develops, with other participating centers, the plan for analysis of data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study on the effects of medication use during pregnancy.
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