Should I Stop Taking Prescription Medication When I Get Pregnant?

Some prescription medications are approved for use in pregnancy, while others may not be safe for the growing baby. When considering whether to continue taking prescription medication during your pregnancy, your doctor will help you weigh the benefits the drug presents against the risks that might be associated with continuing it.

Prescription medication should not be stopped before discussing it with your provider. 

Risks vs. Benefits

It is normal for a woman to feel concerned about how her medications will affect her baby. Many women feel panicked and stop taking the medication, but this can be unsafe for the mother, and it is always best to discuss stopping or changing the medication with your medical provider first.

While the medication you are taking may pose a risk to your fetus, it may be a relatively minor risk. This is weighed against the benefit you get from taking the medication. Medications are categorized for use during pregnancy by their risks to the fetus. Your doctor will use this information to decide if you should stop the medication.

Sometimes if a woman is taking a prescription that poses a risk to her baby, a doctor can change the prescription to a medication that is safer for pregnancy. 

Tapering Off Medication

Stopping some medications abruptly, called “cold turkey,” can lead to dangerous withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the medication.

Medications like some anti-depressants, for example, can cause nausea, headaches, dizziness, anxiety, and even worsening depression, among other symptoms, when stopped abruptly.

Some prescription medications need to be tapered to avoid withdrawal symptoms. If you need to stop your medication, your provider will help you determine an appropriate schedule for stepping down your dosage until you are safely off it.

Do You Have More Questions?

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