Drug Use During Pregnancy
Drug use during pregnancy is an issue of concern due to the associated effects of the drugs. Drug use during pregnancy ranges from the usual medical drugs to illicit/illegal drugs. The illicit drugs have a higher potential to interfere with the developmental process due to its nature and behavioral traits of the abusers. All in all, the use of non-monitored and unprescribed drugs results in various detrimental effects to both the woman and the fetus. The effects of drug use can be manifested immediately upon exposure or manifested at a later point in life. These effects range from functional impairment to carcinogenic outcomes.
The thalidomide disaster in the 1960s was the reason for the current precautions associated with drug use during pregnancy; thalidomide led to development of phocomelia. Drug use during pregnancy is a sensitive area due to the effects of pharmacokinetics of medications; these medications can have a potentially harmful effect on the growing fetus. However, all medications cannot be restricted during pregnancy; otherwise, there would be a high burden of disease among pregnant women. Most women are already having medical issues by the time they are getting pregnant; hence, the objective for drug use during pregnancy should be in alignment with safety. Several medications cause congenital abnormalities in fetuses, and these are attributed to the ingredients constituting the drugs. …
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