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Medication and X-rays during pregnancy


If the mother is taking medication for a chronic condition or has taken any medication/drugs since her last period, she must inform her physician. In order to clarify whether the drug is dangerous in pregnancy, any of the genetic institutes or the teratological databank may be contacted. The Teratological center provides this service for physicians and the general public.
In order to obtain advice, you must provide the following details: the name of the drug, when you started taking it and when you finished taking it, and at what dosage. The period during which you were taking it is important since most drugs have no effect if taken not later than 10 days after becoming pregnant (usually 24 days after the date of the last period). However, there are drugs that affect the development of the teeth if taken at a specific stage of the pregnancy, and other drugs that can affect other systems depending on the stage of pregnancy when they were taken.


In the case of most drugs, there is no significant risk for defects, even if instructions contraindicate taking the drug during pregnancy.
However, there are drugs that increase the risk for fetal defects, such as structural defects, and in these cases, appropriate ultrasound tests are recommended.

There are a few drugs that, if taken at a critical stage of pregnancy, may result in such serious defects that termination of the pregnancy is recommended.

There are other drugs that, if one of the partners has taken them during the 3 months before the commencement of the pregnancy and especially during the pregnancy itself, require amniocentesis to check for defects. Examples include medications taken by patients who have undergone kidney transplantation, familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) patients taking colchicine, or a partner receiving chemotherapy, etc. In these cases, genetic counseling is offered and amniocentesis is advised for every pregnancy.

X-ray radiation at a reasonable dose does not endanger the fetus. Up to three direct X-rays in pregnancy do not constitute a danger. It is desirable to confer with the X-ray institute in order to calculate the amount of radiation given. If it is less than 5 REMs, there is no significant risk. When data is available, counseling may be sought at a genetic institute and recommendations for tests obtained, if needed.
 
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