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Simple, we follow the pregnancy safety guidelines. There is a safety classification of drugs done by the US FDA, which is also followed in many countries across the world. In addition, there are also country-specific registries which decide the safety.
This categorization was first established in 1979 and is used till date for over the counter products. It is a very easy system which uses alphabets to denote the level of pregnancy safety.
There are 5 alphabets in this pregnancy safety classification: A, B, C, D and X.
Under this category, we have those drugs and products that have been shown to not pose any risk or threat to the fetus.
A typical example would be the antenatal vitamin, folic acid.
Again, in this category, there is no demonstrable risk to the fetus, based on the information extrapolated from animal studies.
Examples for this category would be the antibiotic Cefadroxil, topical anti acne / anti redness agent tranexamic acid and anti-pimple topical agent azelaic acid.
This category contains drugs that may have some adverse effects on the fetus, based on information extrapolated from animal studies. But such drugs may be considered for use in pregnancy, only if the benefits of using the drugs outweigh the risks.
Cyclosporine, which is used for treating psoriasis and topical adapalene for acne, are examples of Category C. Also in this category is topical hydroquinone, which is best avoided in pregnancy because of its easy absorption into the body.
This group contains drugs known to cause harm to the fetus and are to be avoided in pregnancy. They may be used in some exceptional cases where the benefits justify it.
Drugs like the anti-acne tetracycline and Minocycline are examples of pregnancy category D drugs.
These drugs have been proved to cause harm to the fetus and should not be used in pregnant women.
Examples include oral retinoids, like Isotretinoin, which needs a minimum time period of 1 month after stopping the drug for a person to consider falling pregnancy.
These are the pregnancy safe drug categories that help us decide whether a particular product is okay for us to use or not. In some cases like sunscreens, we go by the specific guidelines put forth by the US FDA and academic literature.
SAFESCREEN™ Brigade Road sunscreen is a pregnancy safe sunscreen because it only contains zinc oxide as its UV filter. Zinc oxide is approved by both the US FDA (GRASE- 1) and the EU and is considered as safe for use by pregnant women and nursing mothers, and babies too.
Several prescription drugs and newer therapies have been removed from this classification and placed in a more elaborate and comprehensive system from the year 2015, called the Pregnancy and Lactation Labelling Final Rule (PLLR), by the US FDA. Something to welcome in this new upgrade is the segregation of this group into distinct and separate categories, each for Pregnancy and Lactation. What’s even better, is the addition of a new category called: Men and Women of Reproductive Potential. This is definitely fantastic, as this aims to sort out the doubts and queries of men who may wish to father a child in the near future and to help them plan their medication schedules accordingly. We would say, that this is a welcome positive step in gender equality in terms of sharing the responsibility for creating healthy offspring.
Pregnancy safety is a factor to consider when choosing any oral medication or long wear product during pregnancy. While personal care products like facewashes and toothpaste may not receive much scrutiny as to whether they are pregnancy safe or not, it is very important to pay attention to ingredients in drugs and products that are taken orally. This is also the same for long-contact products like sunscreens and skin serums.
In our curated pregnancy skin care program, you will find a simple and easy protocol for you to take care of your skin during pregnancy, constructed from products that are considered to be pregnancy safe! At CHOSEN®, we care about you, your baby and your peace of mind!