Maternal-fetal medicineDrugs and the fetusKyle, Phillipa M.Author Information Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago, New Zealand Correspondence to: Professor Phillipa Marie Kyle, MBChB, MD, FRCOG, FRANZCOG, CMFM, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago, New Zealand. Tel: +64 3 3644638; fax: +64 3 3644634; E-mail: email@example.com Review commissioned by Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: April 2006 - Volume 18 - Issue 2 - p 93-99 doi: 10.1097/01.gco.0000192974.61729.4c Buy SDC Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Few drugs are licensed in pregnancy, and data on drug use in pregnancy are mainly retrospective and uncontrolled. Pregnancy exposure has increased recently to new classes of drugs, as they have been shown to be effective and well tolerated outside of pregnancy. Recent findings Anti-nausea therapies, H2-receptor and proton pump inhibitors appear to be safe. Metformin is being trialed for treatment in gestational diabetes and initial reports appear encouraging. Concern has been raised about statins in early pregnancy and should be avoided. New antiepileptic medication appears effective with low risk of abnormality. However, when combined with valproate, risks are still high. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for depression appear to be effective, with likely low risk for teratogenesis, although neonatal behavioural syndrome following their use in the third trimester is a concern. Angiotensin II inhibitors should be avoided in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Smoking cessation programmes need to be reevaluated. Summary Information about safety of drugs and caution about prescribing in pregnancy should continue. Until large clinical trials are performed, the risk/benefit ratio of drugs during pregnancy will remain uncertain. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.