As of 2015, physicians and scientists do not know how safe most medications are for pregnant women, and women should not decide which medications to take based on Internet lists of safe drugs, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pregnant women and women considering pregnancy should consult their doctors before taking any medicine. Pregnant women who are taking medications for conditions such as epilepsy or high blood pressure should talk to their doctors before making changes.
Studies to evaluate how safe medications are typically do not include pregnant women, notes the CDC. More than 90 percent of the medications that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved since 1980 lack sufficient information about the risk of birth defects. Whether a drug or medication is safe for a pregnant woman depends on factors including the dose that the woman takes; the stage of pregnancy in which the woman takes it; other medications the woman takes; and other health conditions the woman may have.
Women who take medications for health conditions such as depression, asthma or epilepsy may need to continue taking them while pregnant to maintain their health and protect their unborn babies from harm, explains the CDC. These women should discuss the safety of the medications with their doctors to achieve a balance between medical risks and benefits.