Amanda Turkiewicz

CF medications in pregnancy and breast feeding

Pregnancy and child-rearing is an exciting time in a woman's life, but it can also be a time of concern when it comes to the use of medications. Sometimes medications are necessary for your health and the fetus or baby. For example, certain vitamins and minerals are important and should be taken during pregnancy.

In other cases, we need to be aware of medications that are passed on to the fetus or baby by crossing the placenta or via breastmilk which may or may not affect their growth and development. Often, a safer drug can be used in place of one that may cause harm. However, there are times when certain medications must be used to treat specific conditions. When this happens, we are careful before starting any new drug to weigh the risks and the benefits to you and your child.

There are many places to find information on this matter. Your medications may come with 'drug monographs' or you may run across FDA pregnancy risk categories. This type of information is sometimes too literal, and does not take into consideration the risk-benefit profile of taking medication during pregnancy. As well, sometimes some drugs might be safe for use in one trimester, and not in another trimester.

We refer to the Motherisk Program because it is a reliable source of evidence-based information that weighs the risks and benefits of appropriate treatment for you while protecting your child. As well, your CF physicians and health care team discuss any recommendations from Motherisk and how this may apply to your CF care. For more information on the Motherisk Program, please visit www.motherisk.org.

Speak to your pharmacist and your CF team if you have any questions about the medications you are taking or about to start taking.

Click on the links below for information on specific CF medications.