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Will these medicines harm the fetus?

Q: I am 13 weeks pregnant. I am suffering from cough and cold since the last month. My doctor has prescribed the following tablets: Deriphyllin retard 150, Okacet 10 and Mits linctus codeinae (a cough syrup). Are there any harmful effects of these tablets on fetus?

A:As you know, only most essential medicines (such as folic acid) should be taken during pregnancy. Okacet is the brand name; the name of the medicine is cetirizine. It is an-antihistamine which makes mucous thick and inhibits expectoration; hence it should not be used if the cough is productive i.e. there is some amount of expectoration. Deriphyllin contains theophylline, indicated in the treatment of asthma. It crosses the placenta and reaches the developing fetus; hence it should not be used during pregnancy unless the patient's asthma cannot be controlled with other safer medicines. Mits linctus codeinae contains codeine, which is an opioid agent. It also crosses the placenta and reaches the fetus. Incidentally it is converted to morphine in the liver. It is better to depend on steam inhalation for common cold and cough during pregnancy. For decongestion Sinarest Vapocaps can be poured into hot water and then inhaled along with steam.

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