The Interplay Between Medications and Pregnancy: What Every Expectant Mother Needs to Know

If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you should be careful when using medications during pregnancy because some medications can potentially harm a developing baby. 

A medication taken during pregnancy can pass from the mother’s bloodstream to the baby through the placenta. Some medications may cause birth defects or other problems in the baby, while others may cause problems for the mother.

For example, acetaminophen is a commonly used and generally safe medication when used as directed. But there have been some concerns raised about the potential link between acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) and autism. This concern has led parents to file Tylenol Autism Lawsuit to hold the manufacturers accountable for their actions and inactions that caused the harm. 

If you or a loved one took Tylenol during pregnancy, and your child has developed Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you may be eligible for a Tylenol Autism Lawsuit as well.

It is generally best for pregnant women to try to avoid taking any unnecessary medications during pregnancy and to speak with a healthcare professional before taking any new medications. They can help determine the potential risks and benefits and make an informed decision about the use of medication during pregnancy.

This article talks about some potential medicines that can affect your unborn baby during pregnancy.


Isotretinoin is taken orally to treat severe acne. It is a potent medication that can have serious side effects and should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

If taken during pregnancy, isotretinoin can cause serious birth defects in an unborn baby, including abnormalities of the face, eyes, ears, and skull, as well as abnormalities of the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and thymus gland. Isotretinoin can also cause miscarriages and premature births. And it is recorded that this medicine can pose an 18 to 28 percent risk of isotretinoin embryopathy.

For these reasons, it is very important for women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant to avoid taking isotretinoin. 


Corticosteroids are medications that are used to treat a wide range of conditions, including inflammation, allergic reactions, and autoimmune disorders. They are also sometimes used to help accelerate fetal lung maturation in pregnant women who are at risk of preterm delivery.

If a pregnant woman takes corticosteroids, the medication can pass through the placenta and potentially affect her unborn baby.  The potential risks and benefits of taking corticosteroids during pregnancy should be carefully considered in consultation with a healthcare professional.

Possible risks associated with corticosteroid use during pregnancy include:

  • Increased risk of premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Smaller head size
  • Slowed growth in the womb

In some cases, corticosteroids may be necessary to treat a condition that poses a greater risk to the mother or baby. In such cases, the benefits of taking corticosteroids may outweigh the potential risks. However, it is important for pregnant women to discuss the potential risks and benefits with their healthcare provider before taking any medication.


Phenytoin is a medication that works to control seizures and some types of abnormal heartbeat problems. It is classified as a pregnancy category D medication, which means that it may be harmful to a developing baby when taken during pregnancy.

If taken during pregnancy, phenytoin may increase the risk of birth defects, including abnormalities of the face, head, and brain. It may also cause problems with the baby’s bone development and cause the baby to be smaller than expected.

According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, if a pregnant woman takes phenytoin within the first three months of pregnancy, there is a 5 to 10 percent chance that her child will be born with Fetal Hydantoin Syndrome.

If you become pregnant while taking phenytoin, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. They may recommend a different medication that will control your seizures or irregular heartbeats without posing any risks to the fetus.


Benzodiazepines are a group of medications used to treat conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. They can be effective at treating these conditions, but they can also have side effects and are generally not recommended for use during pregnancy.

According to a study, The risk of overall malformations in babies whose mothers took benzodiazepines during pregnancy was 65.3 per 1,000 pregnancies.

Benzodiazepines may increase the risk of birth defects and other problems in a developing fetus if taken during pregnancy. Some research suggests that benzodiazepines interfere with normal brain development, as well as organ formation.

It is important to note that the potential risks associated with taking benzodiazepines during pregnancy may vary depending on the specific medication, the timing of use, and the individual characteristics of the mother and baby.


If you are pregnant or planning to become so, it is important that you discuss all medications with your healthcare provider. They can help determine the potential risks and benefits of those substances for both mother and child.

If you are pregnant and already taking any of the above medications, speak with your healthcare provider. They may recommend switching to a different medication or treatment approach in order to manage your problems during pregnancy.