Posted 8/6/2008 12:04 PM (GMT -6)
Hopeless - I'll be honest I haven't read the other replies, I'm kind of in a hurry but I had to respond. My husband and I have had trouble for 7 years getting pregnant, and finally my hormones are allowing female things to happen correctly. I've done a lot of research here lately trying to find the good, bad, and ugly about the effects of pain medication, chronic pain, and other things on a fetus/baby. I even went so far as to specifically ask the question to a pharmacist online. I can't say he gave me 100% correct info, but the one I asked had certifications and such.
What I've found out is that yes, there are medications that are going to definitely harm an unborn child. The FDA (I think it is) rates medication as a certain class based on their chances of causing birth defects and abnormalities during pregnancy, birth and such. I've looked up my medications specifically. I'm taking percocet 5/325 - up to four times a day, Kadian 50mg - every twelve hours (it's a long acting morphine capsule), Amitriptylene 200mg at bedtime, and Baclofen 10mg - up to three times a day.
After researching the narcotics (which I figured would do the most harm) I found out (and I'm not promising this is correct, just my research) that they may not cause any problems. The main side effect (even said so by the pharm I asked online) is the fact that the child would be born dependent on the medications themselves, meaning they would have to be weened off of the narcotics slowly. Most places said that this really comes down to a very hard decision between you and your doctors. Pain, and it's physical effects on the mother, can very easily become worse for a baby than the risks that might happen. Pain causes high blood pressure, constriction of blood vessels, high stress, and other things that can be dangerous for a baby. None of which are going to play nice with a unborn child. There is also the fact that episodes of very elevated pain can cause premature labor as well. So it comes down to weighing the risks versus the benefits.
The amitriptylene and baclofen are both "FDA category C" drugs. Basically saying there have been a few issues in animal fetus's but no studies on people showing abnormalities. It says that the risks of not taking it may out weigh whatever the chances of issues happening are.
Don't forget that being in extreme pain is a whole risk category by itself. You should talk this over with all of your doctors, and it should be a decision all of you make together. I can say that you going through complete withdrawal, without help of any kind, is probably going to be much more dangerous to you and your baby than taking the medication and/or weening yourself off of it. So please don't make that choice.
Also, you can look up every single medication you are taking and somewhere in it's information will be information on how safe it is to take while pregnant. Almost all information should give you the FDA category that it is in. I'm hoping it's okay to do so, I'm going to post the FDA category chart here (it's available all over the web by just doing an "FDA pregnancy category" search. Also remember that just because some medications mayb e higher, it doesn't absolutely mean that things are going to happen. So here it is:
The FDA-assigned pregnancy categories as used in the Drug Formulary
are as follows:
Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk
to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence
of risk in later trimesters).
Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the
fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant
Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus
and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but
potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women
despite potential risks.
There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse
reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies
in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in
pregnant women despite potential risks.
Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities
and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse
reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the
risks involved in use of the drug in pregnant women clearly outweigh
I know it's hard, and more than likely everyone else has said this - try to relax. At this point there is nothing you can do with the medications you've already taken. There is also no way that deciding to put yourself into withdrawal is going to be good for your baby. Calm down, take a few breaths, and realize you are pregnant. Inside of you right now is a life that you are going to carry and bring into this world. A baby that when it comes will know that you have done everything you can to keep it safe. Your children are going to have another sibling, and the love between you and your husband is bringing another life into this world. Congratulations! *hugs*
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"
Dx: Degenerative Disc Disease, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, IBS-d, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1, Bulging/Ruptured L3-L4, Sciatica, Neuropathy, Costochondritis, Reflux, Gastric Bypass Surgery 12/6/07
Rx: Kadian 50mg - every 12 hours, Percocet 5/325 - up to 4 daily, Baclofen 10mg - 3 daily, Amitriptylene 200mg - at bedtime, Prevacid Solutabs - 1 daily, various vitamins.