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.
Safer Medication Use in Pregnancy
Medicine use in pregnancy is common. Almost all pregnant people 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? Healthcare professionals and their patients don’t have enough information to answer these questions.
Safety information is lacking.
- Many people 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.
CDC and partners are committed to improving the health of pregnant people and babies by identifying the safest treatment options for common conditions before and during pregnancy. CDC will continue to support research about health outcomes related to medicines used during pregnancy to better understand and communicate the safety of medicines used before, during, and after pregnancy.