FDA: New prescription guidelines to benefit pregnant women

FDA: New prescription guidelines to benefit pregnant women

As pregnant and breastfeeding women consider their oral health needs, starting in June they can also expect more useful and up-to-date information about the effects of prescription drugs they may take as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rolls out a new labeling system for prescription drugs.

The FDA's changes to pregnancy and lactation labeling information for prescription drugs aim to help dentists and other health care providers identify the safest treatment options for conditions during pregnancy, according to the FDA. "FDA wants pregnant and breastfeeding women and their health care providers to benefit from the most useful and latest information about their prescription medicines," said Sandra Kweder, M.D., deputy director of FDA's Office of New Drugs, in a news release about the new labeling.

Women and health care providers need this information because, among other reasons, most women take at least one medication during pregnancy and a woman's body changes throughout her pregnancy, which may affect the medication dose she needs, according to Dr. Kweder.

The revised labeling will also include more information whether medication gets into breast milk and – based on how much of it is present – how it can possibly affect the infant, according to the FDA. The ADA consumer news website, MouthHealthy.org, also offers information for pregnant women about how to maintain their oral health during pregnancy.

For example, a woman's gums may be extra sensitive during pregnancy and one's dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings. For more information on oral care during pregnancy, visit MouthHealthy.org/pregnancy.

© 2017 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

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Common Conditions During PREGNANCY

To help minimize any risks during pregnancy, here is some general advice and some common conditions to be on the lookout for:

  1. Gum disease – during pregnancy, teeth and gums need special attention. Regular tooth brushing twice daily, flossing once daily, eating a balanced diet and visiting the dentist regularly will help reduce dental problems that accompany pregnancy.

  2. Enamel erosion – for some women, morning sickness is a major symptom of pregnancy. Along with the nausea comes additional acid that, if left in your mouth, can erode your teeth. Be sure to rinse your mouth out with water or with a fluoride mouthwash to keep the acid level under control.

  3. Dry mouth – pregnancy dry mouth can put women at a greater risk for problems such as tooth decay and infections. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and chew sugarless gum to enhance production of saliva.

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