Drug therapy in pregnancy: Carefully changing our approach
Medical therapy in pregnancy is an inescapable scenario faced by all doctors. The fact that a vulnerable fetus is involved makes the situation all the more challenging. Almost all drugs on the market were not designed with pregnancy in mind and because of the fear of costly litigation, pharmaceutical companies are extremely reluctant to test and later endorse their products for use during pregnancy. Instead disclaimers are the norm. Nonetheless medical conditions in pregnant women do need to be treated. This demands that physicians understand the pregnancy physiology and fetal development, stay abreast of new information and maintain a flexible approach in order to best manage the mother and her unborn child. This article covers basic principles and then illustrates this flexible approach using three diagnostic areas where new information has recently become available.