OTC Medication Use in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Seema H. Ledan, PharmD


US Pharmacist. 2019;44(9):16-19. 

In This Article


While medication use during pregnancy has increased over the years, judicious use is strongly recommended at any stage of pregnancy or the lactation period due to safety, limited supporting evidence, and adverse events such as a decrease in milk production. Although the majority of OTC medications have been deemed safe, there are still some common products that could potentially cause harm to the growing fetus, cause problems during labor, or decrease milk production. Requesting information or recommendations from providers or pharmacists, researching safety with available resources, and evaluating whether therapy is truly needed during pregnancy or lactation should be done with any medication, including OTC products.