Antibiotics are commonly prescribed during pregnancy. The specific medication must be chosen carefully, however. Some antibiotics are OK to take during pregnancy, while others are not. Safety depends on various factors, including the type of antibiotic, when in your pregnancy you take the antibiotic, how much you take and for how long.
Here's a sampling of antibiotics generally considered safe during pregnancy:
Certain other antibiotics should be avoided during pregnancy. For example, tetracyclines — such as doxycycline and minocycline — can damage a pregnant woman's liver and discolor a developing baby's teeth.
Also, it's important to note that two antibiotics commonly used together to treat urinary tract infections — trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole — may be linked with an increased risk of birth defects. Although there's no direct proof that these antibiotics cause birth defects, additional research is needed. In the meantime, use of these medications is still warranted in some cases.
If an antibiotic is the best way to treat your condition, your health care provider will prescribe the safest antibiotic at the safest dosage.
Oct. 03, 2014
- Briggs GG, et al. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2011.
- Crider KS, et al. Antibacterial medication use during pregnancy and risk of birth defects: National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. 2009;163:978.
- Tetracycline and pregnancy. Organization of Teratology Information Specialists. http://www.mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets-s13037. Accessed Aug. 4, 2014.
- Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim and pregnancy. Organization of Teratology Information Specialists. http://www.mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets-s13037. Accessed Aug. 4, 2014.
- Schaefer C, et al., eds. Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation: Treatment Options and Risk Assessment. 2nd ed. Waltham, Mass.: Academic Press; 2007. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 8, 2014.