Are you pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding while taking certain medications? If yes, it is better to consult your health care provider and talk about category X drugs before it's too late.
What are category X drugs?
These are drugs that clearly outweigh potential benefits. Drugs which have such a high risk of causing permanent damage to the fetus that they should not be used in pregnancy or when there is a possibility of pregnancy, in short, these are the drugs that can cause fetal abnormalities or defects.
Here are some examples of commonly used category X drugs:
1. Isotretinoin: This drug is used to treat severe acne in patients who do not respond to other medicines.
2. Simvastatin: Or other "statins", are cholesterol lowering agents. It reduces levels of "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) and triglycerides in the blood, while increasing levels of "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL).
3. Finasteride: Commonly used for treating urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia [BPH]). Note especially to female nurses: Use gloves when handling this kind of drug.
4. Warfarin: Is an anticoagulant (blood thinner). It reduces the formation of blood clots. Do not use warfarin if you are pregnant, unless your doctor tells you to.
5. Methotrexate: Methotrexate is used to treat certain types of cancer of the breast, skin, head and neck, or lung. It is also used to treat severe psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
EXTRA: Ibuprofen, aspirin, diclofenac, acetaminophen, or oxycodone: These pain relievers should be avoided especially in the 3rd trimester. Consult your doctor before taking these drugs during pregnancy.