Medicines in pregnancy

Sarah Stock, Jane Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
152 Downloads (Pure)


Medicine use in pregnancy is extremely common, but there are significant knowledge gaps surrounding the safety, dosage and long-term effects of drugs used. Pregnant women have been purposively excluded from clinical trials of the majority of treatments for conditions that may occur concurrently with pregnancy. There is minimal information on the pharmacokinetics of many existing treatments, and no systematic capture of long-term outcome data to help inform choices. Treatments commonly used in pregnancy are thus often old and untested, not optimised in dose, and prescribed off-label without adequate safety information. In addition, there has been a staggering lack of investment in drug development for obstetric conditions for decades. This is a major public health concern, with pregnancy complications the leading cause of mortality in children under five years old globally, and health in pregnancy a major determinant of women’s long-term health and wellbeing. There is an acute need for adequate investment and legislation to boost inclusion of pregnant women in clinical studies, capture high-quality information on medication use in pregnancy in general, and encourage new medicinal product development for obstetric conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number911
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2019


  • Pregnancy
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Pharmacovigilance
  • Public health
  • Maternal Health
  • newborn health
  • child health


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