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Teratology and Drug Use During Pregnancy


Approximately 3-5% of live births are complicated by a birth defect each year totaling around 120,000 babies.
 Drug use is an uncommon cause of birth defects, but certain medications can increase the likelihood of developing a birth defect. Additionally, more women taking any kind of medication has more than doubled in the last 30 years.
 Current evidence suggests that between 65%-94 % of women take at least one prescription drug during pregnancy.
 Nearly 70% of women are taking a medication in the first trimester during organogenesis.
 On average, women are taking 3 medications in pregnancy
with over 50% of women using four or more.
 This includes over the counter medications and herbal supplements.

The purpose of this article is to provide an up to date source of information about medication use in pregnancy, to review the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pregnancy and lactation categories, and to further describe the recent FDA changes in drug labeling from December 2014.



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