There are about 6 million pregnancies in the United States each year, and it’s estimated that 50% of pregnant women take at least one medicine. Physicians play an important role in helping their pregnant patients make informed health choices, especially when it comes to the safe use of medications.
To assist physicians and other prescribers in their discussions with patients, Food and Drug Administration’s Medicine and Pregnancy website provides valuable patient education resources to facilitate the conversation. For example, the consumer Medicine and Pregnancy fact sheet provides four simple tips to patients when talking to their health care providers about using prescription and over-the-counter medicines. The site also includes information on food safety, breast pumps, and tips for new moms, and it offers useful tips for providers, as well. Below are some examples:
The FDA website also provides information about the Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling Final Rule , which requires changes to the content and format for information presented in prescription drug labeling. The changes are implemented to help health care providers assess risk versus benefit and in subsequent counseling of pregnant women and nursing mothers.
The FDA offers free medicine safety and pregnancy resources for pregnant women, including downloadable infographics; a Medicines Record Keeper brochure in English, Spanish and other languages; medicine booklets; online videos; and fact sheets, tips, and more at their Medication Safety for Women page.
Pregnancy is an exciting time for women, but they may have questions and concerns about how medicines they take will affect their babies. Our pregnancy website can help make a woman’s pregnancy happier and healthier.
Dr. Yao is the director of the division of pediatrics and maternal health, Office of Drug Evaluation IV, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA, in Silver Spring, Md.