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Why is it important to discuss all medications with a doctor?

Medical errors made during pregnancy can result in serious complications or problems with birthing or the child him or herself. While it's nearly impossible to know the true number of medication and medical errors made during pregnancies, there is no denying the impact those errors can have.

Specifically in cases involving patients with chronic medical conditions, it's vital for doctors to be on the mark when they are making diagnoses and taking care of a patient during pregnancy. Around 90 percent of pregnant women have reported taking a medication during pregnancy and 70 percent of women report taking prescriptions throughout pregnancy. Not every type of medication is dangerous to an unborn child, but a woman should be aware of the risks of any medications she takes.

For example, a woman was taking Lisinopril, which is for hypertension. This drug can potentially cause harm during the first trimester, but it is known to cause fetal risk during the second and third. It is contraindicated for women who have Type 1 diabetes, which this woman had. In this case, the woman may not be able to continue the medication throughout her pregnancy, or she may only be able to continue it with close medical monitoring.

Why is this important? Doctors need to gather information during every medical visit to make sure women are receiving the right care and are not taking the wrong or dangerous medications during a pregnancy. Women of childbearing age may even want to know the risks of the medications they're on before getting pregnant, so they can stop or switch medications to something safer.

Source:, "Medication Errors in Adults—Case #7: Pregnancy," Bradley M. Wright, accessed Dec. 06, 2016

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