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Prescribing in pregnancy 

Prescribing in pregnancy
Chapter:
Prescribing in pregnancy
Author(s):

Lucy MacKillop

, and Charlotte Frise

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0282
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date: 02 March 2021

Many clinicians feel uncertain about prescribing for pregnant women. Despite well-known examples of drugs that have caused serious adverse effects to the developing fetus, most medications can be used safely and effectively in this setting, provided some simple principles are followed. The first of these is that the health of the mother is the most important factor in determining the health of the fetus. Inappropriate cessation of existing medication, or failure to initiate new agents when clearly indicated, can be more harmful than the judicious use of selected medication to maintain maternal health. A medication should be prescribed in pregnancy if the benefit to the mother, and therefore indirectly to the fetus, outweighs the potential risk of fetal exposure.

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