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Is it Safe to Take Amoxicillin While Pregnant?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 24 March 2014
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Regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) generally recognize amoxicillin as safe to use while pregnant. Each pregnancy is different, and it is important to discuss options with an obstetrician before moving forward on a course of treatment. Pregnant women must also weigh the risks of not treating a medical condition against the hazards of treatment, as it may be more dangerous to fail to act than it would be to take a medication known to be generally safe for use during pregnancy.

The Food and Drug Administration classifies amoxicillin while pregnant in category B, meaning that no testing has shown the drug to be harmful to developing fetuses, although testing has not been extensive to categorically say the drug is completely safe. Many other antibiotics are definitely dangerous during pregnancy, causing issues like tooth discoloration and hearing loss, and amoxicillin is among the best choices for antibiotics to take for infections during pregnancy.

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Taking amoxicillin while pregnant may not always be completely safe. A woman with a history of allergic reactions to amoxicillin or penicillin antibiotics in general should not take this medication while pregnant, as an allergic response could endanger the baby. This antibiotic may also interact badly with some medications, endangering the life of the mother or fetus. People with no known personal history of allergies to amoxicillin who have a family history of allergies may want to discuss this with a doctor before deciding to take amoxicillin during a pregnancy, as it is possible they may be at increased risk of allergies.

Data on use of amoxicillin while pregnant suggests no obvious connection between this antibiotic and dangers to the health of mother or fetus. Failing to treat an infection, on the other hand, can result in significant risks to the pregnancy. Severe infections may lead to issues like systemic shock and could cause pregnancy loss or birth defects. When a doctor identifies an infection and prescribes amoxicillin, this is done with the goal of preventing severe complications. The patient should take the complete course of antibiotics and report side effects promptly, in case these are signs of an allergy to the amoxicillin.

Patients concerned about taking amoxicillin while pregnant can discuss the situation with an obstetrician. The doctor may be able to recommend alternative antibiotics. Generally, however, the obstetrician will agree with the initial prescribing doctor, recommending antibiotic use to kill the infection and head off future complications.

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Discuss this Article

anon354506
Post 5

There is nothing to worry about as I too was fearful. I ended up needing to take amoxicillin through two of my pregnancies and both children came out really healthy. The doctor explained to me not taking it would actually be harder to treat as stronger medication would have to be used.

anon293083
Post 4

I have used Amoxicillin during pregnancy for infection and my baby has developed a discoloration of the teeth. I am worried.

burcinc
Post 3

I do believe that amoxicillin is safe during pregnancy. I'm actually worried about something different. I saw in the inactive ingredients list of the drug that it listed a yellow dye for the color of the tablet.

I read an article recently that yellow dyes have been linked to hyperactivity, especially in children. So I'm actually worried that the side effect of amoxicillin on the baby could be hyperactivity.

I'm guessing that the amount needed for the dye to cause this is much larger than what I get from the amoxicillin tablet. But it's still something to think about.

candyquilt
Post 2

@ysmina-- Please take your medication!

I used amoxicillin during two pregnancies because of an ear infection the first time and tonsillitis the second time. Everything was fine and both my babies are completely healthy!

I don't agree with you that you need to use your own judgement about this. Doctors know best and I truly believe that doctors are extra careful when prescribing medication to pregnant women as they know what the risks could be. Your doctor would not prescribe amoxicillin if he or she didn't believe that you need it and that it's safe for both you and your baby.

If you don't treat the infection, it can develop into something much worse like the article said. You are putting your baby in more danger by refusing treatment. You should follow the doctor's orders on this and I'm telling you it's safe. I've used it!

ysmina
Post 1

Knowing that amoxicillin is in category B still worries me. I have a urinary infection and the doctor prescribed amoxicillin. I do trust my doctor but I also feel that doctors are not aware of everything and I need to use my own judgement sometimes.

I always hear about medications that are said to be safe at first but then are taken off the market when new risks are discovered. This being my first pregnancy, I want to be really careful and keep my baby as safe as possible. If something happens because of a medication I used, I will always blame myself for it.

So I still haven't taken any amoxicillin fearing the side effects for the baby. And I'm not sure what I should do about my infection.

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