CDC's Work on Medicine and Pregnancy
CDC is committed to working with its partners and the public to understand and communicate the safety of medicines used before, during, and after pregnancy.
Treating for Two: Safer Medication Use in Pregnancy
Medicine use in pregnancy is common. Almost all pregnant women face decisions about taking medicines during pregnancy. Should I continue taking my allergy medicine while pregnant? Should I take medicines to treat nausea and vomiting? I just found out that I’m pregnant; should I switch my antidepressant to a safer one? Women and healthcare professionals do not have enough information to answer these questions.
Safety information is lacking.
- Many women need to take medicines during pregnancy to control a health condition. In some cases, avoiding or stopping a medicine during pregnancy may be more harmful than taking it.
- However, if certain medicines are taken during pregnancy, like Accutane® (also called isotretinoin), they can cause serious birth defects, pregnancy loss, prematurity, infant death, or developmental disabilities.
- Yet fewer than 10% of medicines approved since 1980 have enough information to determine their safety during pregnancy.
Treating for Two is CDC’s prescription for this problem.
CDC and partners began the Treating for Two program to improve the health of women and babies by identifying the safest treatment options for common conditions before and during pregnancy. With this initiative, CDC hopes to improve the health of women and babies by doing the following:
- Supporting research about health outcomes related to medicines used during pregnancy.
- Providing guidance on medicine use in pregnancy.
- Helping women and healthcare professionals arrive at treatment decisions based on the best available information.
Read more about the research program in the fact sheet, “Providing Better Information to Women and Healthcare Providers.”
How You Can Help
- Partner with Treating for Two. Partners are essential to promoting and advancing Treating for Two. A large, growing government workgroup is dedicated to Treating for Two activities, driving forward science, communication, and policy efforts around medicines used in pregnancy. In addition, we have engaged core academic and professional organizations and continued to expand our partnership network. Through these partnerships, we can turn information into action and improve the health of women and babies. To learn more about partnership opportunities, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Promote safer medicine use in pregnancy. You can promote Treating for Two and safer medicine use in pregnancy by linking to our website and posting a web button to your website, blog, or social networking profile (for example, your Facebook page).
Treating For Two: Safer Medication Use in Pregnancy.
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