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Antibiotics and pregnancy: What's safe?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antibiotics-and-pregnancy/AN01145
- With Mayo Clinic obstetrician and medical editor-in-chief
Roger W. Harms, M.D.read biographyclose window
Roger W. Harms, M.D.Roger W. Harms, M.D.
"Nothing helps people stay healthy more than the power of real knowledge about health." — Dr. Roger Harms
As medical director of content, Dr. Roger Harms is excited about the potential for Mayo Clinic's health information site to help educate people about their health and provide them the tools and information to live healthier lives.
The Auburn, Neb., native has been with Mayo Clinic since 1981 and is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Harms is a practicing physician and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and his specialty areas include office gynecology, high-risk obstetrics and obstetrical ultrasound.
From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Harms was director for education at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dr. Harms was the 1988 Mayo Medical School Teacher of the Year and served as associate dean for student affairs and academic affairs. He is the co-author of the "Mayo Clinic Model of Education." In 2008, Dr. Harms was presented the Distinguished Educator Award, Mayo Clinic, Rochester.
Dr. Harms is vice chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and medical editor of the Pregnancy section on this website. In addition, Dr. Harms is editor-in-chief of the "Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy" book, a month-by-month guide to everything a woman needs to know about having a baby.
"My medical education experience has grown out of a love of teaching, and that is what this site is about," Dr. Harms says. "If any visitor to this site makes a more informed and thus more comfortable decision about his or her health because of the information we provide, we are successful."
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Antibiotics and pregnancy: What's safe?
Is it safe to take antibiotics during pregnancy?
from Roger W. Harms, M.D.
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.
In addition, it's important to note that two classes of antibiotics commonly used to treat urinary tract infections — nitrofuran derivatives and sulfonamides — have been associated with rare 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.Next question
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- 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.