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Is Glovit-H recommended during pregnancy?

Q: I am a 28 years old woman in the 10th week of my pregnancy. The doctor recommended taking Glovit-H (Glovit hematinic), which is an iron supplement. In the prescription inside the box, it is mentioned that during the first trimester this drug is undesirable. He also recommended taking Duphaston 10 mg thrice a day. Are these medicines safe during pregnancy?

A:In pregnancy the most important and the only medicine, which must be taken is folic acid (sold under various brand names such as Folet, Folvite etc). This medicine reduces the risk of birth defects. There is no mention of this most essential drug in your communication. Glovit is not a registered trade name and hence various small-scale companies are using the same brand for different medicines such as an antioxidant/mineral product, an ayurvedic preparation and alovera plus vitamin E. None of these are required by women during pregnancy. I do not know the reasons for giving Duphaston to you. Duphaston is the brand name; the name of the medicine is a hormone called dydrogesterone (progesterone). This product is indicated in women trying to conceive if there is proven, documented deficiency of the progesterone hormone (during luteal phase). Once conception has taken place, progesterone hormone is indicated only in pregnancies due to assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF etc. or in cases of habitual abortion (repeated miscarriages). Misuse and overuse of progesterone can lead to a number of side effects including fetal death and spontaneous abortion (more so in the first three months of gestation), masculanisation of female fetus (such as unwanted hair on face), birth defects in babies such as cleft palate and heart defects. Therefore in the United States, the use of progesterone during known or suspected pregnancy is banned.

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