Abusing Prescription Drugs During Pregnancy

Prescription drug abuse during pregnancy

Any woman who becomes pregnant needs to evaluate her lifestyle and, if necessary, make changes to protect the health of her baby. If you have a problem with dependence on or with abuse of prescription drugs, it is important that you seek help not only for the sake of your own health but also for the sake of the health of your baby.

Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs:

Opioids:

These drugs are prescribed to treat pain and are sometimes used as a pre-anesthetic sedative. Common names include morphine, codeine, hydrocodone (Vicodin), meperidine (Demerol) and oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet).

CNS Depressants:

These drugs are prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. CNS depressants are divided into two categories, barbiturates and benzodiazepines. Common prescription names include mephobarbital (Mebaral), pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal), alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Activan) and chlordiazepoxide HCI (Librium).

Stimulants:

These drugs are prescribed to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Common prescription names include dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine or Adderall) and methylphenidate (Ritalin).

Popular Drugs That Can Be Harmful to Your Baby:

  • Morphine and Demerol are labeled Category C for safety in pregnancy; they are used to relieve severe to moderate pain.
  • Tylenol with Codeine is labeled Category C for safety in pregnancy; it is usually used for mild to moderately severe pain.
  • Xanax is labeled Category D for safety in pregnancy; it is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
  • Valium is labeled not for use in pregnancy; it is used to treat anxiety disorders and alcohol withdrawal.
  • Ritalin is labeled Category C for safety in pregnancy; it is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactive disorder.
  • Oxycontin is labeled Category B for safety in pregnancy; it is used to relieve moderate to severe pain for an extended amount of time.

It is important to let your health care provider know about any drugs that you are taking.