Prescribing drugs in pregnancy is an unusual risk-benefit situation. Drugs that may of benefit or even life-saving to the mother deform or kill the fetus. However, the risk to the fetus should not exaggerated. There are only approximately 20 drugs or groups of drugs which are known to cause birth defects in humans. For one of these drugs to cause birth defects, a number of criteria must be fulfilled. The drug exposure must take place at a critical stage of pregnancy. And the dose must be high enough to cause a threshold of exposure for an appropriate duration of time.
For most of the known human teratogens, more than 90% of pregnancies exposed during the first trimester result in normal offspring. Although only a few drugs are known to cause birth defects in humans, uncertainty about the safety of the majority may lead to under prescribing. For pregnant women and women of childbearing age. Epidemiological studies of pregnancy outcome after specific drug exposures are often superficially reassuring. But most are severely limited in their power to detect adverse outcomes.
Safety in animal studies may also be reassuring but species differences demand caution in this interpretation. Concerns about prescription drugs in the first trimester. When they can cause birth defects, are mostly quite different from concerns about use in the second and third trimesters. As the fetal organ systems mature. The fetus can be affected by the pharmacological activity of the drug in the same way as the mother. Many drugs have pharmacological effects on the fetus in the second and third trimesters but in most cases. They are well recognized and can be managed or avoided.
The material presented in this paper is mostly concerned with the ‘risks’ associated with drugs in pregnancy. No attempt has been made to quantitate the possible benefits to the mother or fetus. Communicating the risk-benefit situation to the patient is always a challenge for physicians with limited time and sometimes limited knowledge. Fear of litigation is an unfortunate and unwanted parameter in the assessment. Better knowledge of the parameters that determine teratogenicity may allow physicians to feel more confident. In assessing the risks and benefits associated with prescribing in pregnancy.
What Makes Prescription Drug Misuse Unsafe
Every medication has some risk for harmful effects, sometimes serious ones. Doctors and dentists consider the potential benefits and risks to each patient before prescribing medications and take into account a lot of different factors, described below. When prescription drugs are misused, they can be just as dangerous as drugs that are made illegally.
Before prescribing a drug, health providers consider a person’s weight, how long they’ve prescribed the medication, other medical conditions, and what other medications they are taking. Someone misusing prescription drugs may overloa their system or put themselves at risk for dangerous drug interactions that can cause seizures, coma, or even death.
Form and dose.
Doctors know how long it takes for a pill or capsule to dissolve in the stomach, release drugs to the blood, and reach the brain. When misuse, prescription drugs are sometimes taken in larger amounts or in ways that change the way the drug works in the body and brain. putting the person at greater risk for an overdose. For example, when people who misuse OxyContin® crush and inhale the pills, a dose that normally works over the course of 12 hours hits the central nervous system all at once. This effect increases the risk of addiction and overdose.
Prescription drugs are designe to treat a specific illness or condition. But they often affect the body in other ways. Some of which can be uncomfortable, and in some cases, dangerous. These are calle side effects. Side effects can worse when prescription drugs are not take as prescribe or are use in combination with other substances. See more on side effects below.