Are these drugs safe for the fetus?
Q: My wife is 2 months pregnant and she has been prescribed the following medicines. Can you please help and comment whether they are safe or not: Emfolic once daily, vaginal Gel Susten gel 8.0% once daily, Anaforten once daily, Perinorm-CD once daily and injection HUCOG 10,000 IU. Please help.
A:In normal pregnancy, minimal essential medicines should be taken such as folic acid + iron (preferably slow release) such as Fecontin-Z Continus one daily till labour. No other medicine is required and in fact unnecessary medicines can be harmful. I do not know the logic, if any, of giving other medicines. However for your information, the indications and side effects of various brands are as follows: Susten contains a hormone called progesterone. It is to be given ONLY, if there is proven, documented deficiency of this hormone before conception to facilitate pregnancy. It is used in assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF, never in normal conception. The vaginal cream is supposed to be absorbed and reach the blood. Its side effects include cramps, headache, nausea, depression, nervousness, somnolence, breast changes, weight increase, fluid retention and rarely death of the foetus in uterus. Prohibited for use during pregnancy. Its use during early pregnancy can lead to birth defects in the baby such as cleft palate, cleft (hare) lip, heart defects. Rare cases of fetal death and spontaneous abortion have been reported in women given progesterone. Anafortan contains two medicines: camylofin and paracetamol. Camylofin is not approved for use in most advanced countries like US, Britain, Australia, Canada etc. It is a pain killer. Experiments have shown that it can dilate cervix. Its use during the first three months and last six weeks of pregnancy is not permitted. Perinorm CD contains metoclopramide. It is supposed to stop vomiting. However there is no safety data on its use during early pregnancy. Hence it should not be used. Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin is indicated in female infertility (due to lack of ovulation), cases of habitual abortion, luteal phase deficiency and in assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF. Its side effects include water retention, mood changes, tiredness, ovarian hyperstimulation, ovarian cyst rupture, multiple births, depression etc.