Clark, Love & Hutson, GP

New drug labeling for pregnant and breast-feeding women

Most Houston residents will need to take a prescription medication at some point during their lives. These medications help a person feel better or to maintain their quality of life. Just because a woman is pregnant or breast-feeding does not mean that she won't need to take a medication. But many medications can harm an unborn baby or a newborn baby. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is updating its guidelines on how to label prescription medication for women who are pregnant or nursing and to warn them of potential dangerous drug side effects.

Pharmacists are on the front lines of making sure their patients receive safe information about the medications they are taking. Every year more than 6 million women become pregnant in the United States, and these women will take an average of three to five prescription medications during the course of their pregnancy. Prescription medications will now have new labeling to include the effects the medication may have on pregnant and nursing women. The labels will include the risks, clinical considerations, risk for developmental outcomes, birth defects, miscarriages, dose adjustments needed during pregnancy and other valuable information. The labeling will also address how the drug may affect a man or woman's fertility. They have also removed the letter category that previously identified the drug by categories depending on how dangerous the drug may be to pregnant people. These labels will be updated over the next three to five years.

When a person has been negatively affected by a prescription medication, he or she may feel angry and upset. He or she may want to know what happened to cause the injuries. A legal professional knowledgeable about drugs and medical devices may be able to help a person who is facing injuries due to prescription medication. Compensation may be available for medication expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.

It is important to hold drug companies responsible for dangerous drug side effects that harm people. An attorney can help the injured to understand their rights and legal options.

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