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Can I take Butalin and Primolut during pregnancy?

Q: I am a 28 years old and 5 months pregnant woman. Last week I had mild spotting 3 times with a gap of 2 days each. But the doctor said, after doing the scan, that the baby is fine. She has prescribed Butalin 2 mg for 3 weeks and Primolut depot 250 mg injection for 3 weeks. Is it safe for me? Will this affect my baby?

A:I presume this is the first pregnancy since you have not given any information of past pregnancies. Butalin is the brand name; the name of the medicine is terbutaline. It is approved for use in asthma only by government drug regulators all over the world. It was tried to prevent pre-term labour and threatened abortion but the results were not very encouraging; hence it did not receive approval for these indications. Its consumption during pregnancy can result in some minor side effects but no damage to foetus has been reported. Primolut contains a hormone called norethisterone (a progesterone). It is approved for use in (a) dysfunctional uterine bleeding, (b) amenorrhoea, (c) premenstrual syndrome, (d) delay of menstrual period, (e) endometriosis, and (f) adjunct to oestrogen hormone replacement in post-menopausal women. The drug is contraindicated (not permitted) for use during pregnancy. Use of Primolut during pregnancy can lead to signs of masculinisation in female fetuses if administered from day 45 of pregnancy onwards.

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