Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

6 Teves 5763 - December 11, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Home and Family

Your Medical Questions Answered!
by Joseph B. Leibman, MD

Diplomate, Board Certification of Emergency Medicine

Chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine Ma'ayenei Hayeshua Hospital

Our last column in this series on pregnancy. This column should be one of the more useful ones. We are about to discuss what needs to be avoided in pregnancy.

The first principle is that a one-time exposure of anything, generally is not dangerous. It is repeated exposures that can be dangerous. For example, drinking alcohol at Kiddush or the four cups is not a problem at all, but abuse of alcohol can cause fetal defects.

Smoking does affect the baby and can causes serious problems. Please remember that even if you do not smoke, but your husband does -- then you smoke as well. Secondhand smoke is dangerous.

What you eat and drink probably has little to affect a fetus. This of course is not the same for nursing mothers. However an unbalanced diet is not good for a nursing baby or a fetus. I do not believe that vitamins are necessary in most cases, but I did know one person in the USA who was so busy, he lived on just a candy bar.

Radiation is of course dangerous to a fetus, mostly in the first and second trimesters. A chest X-ray with shielding is perfectly safe, as are other x-rays if there is shielding. Most technicians are up on this information and can advise you. Nuclear scans are probably safe as well. Usually there is no choice in doing these.

Medications: Asthma medications are safe and necessary to continue in pregnancy as are diabetes medications. Seizure medications -- especially Idantoin (dilantin) -- are problematic and a neurologist must be involved. High blood pressure medications can be a problem: calcium channel blockers seem to be the safest. Hormones need to be generally stopped, but if taken until pregnancy is obvious they will cause no damage. There is an acne medication which is very prone to causing birth defects, and some antibiotics are not used in pregnancy. All the penicillin family including amoxicillin and augmentin are fine, as are the cephalosporins like our sponsor's Zinnat. Coumadin, a blood thinner, is a problem. Individual questions? Write me in care of the Yated.

A message from Glaxo, sponsor of this column. Augmentin and Zinnat are safe in pregnancy as is Imitrex. All of Glaxo's asthma (Serevent, Ventolin, Flixotide-etc.) and dermatology (Dermovate, Betnovate, Einnovate, Dactroban) medications are safe in pregnancy Zofran, the anti-vomiting drug, can also be used in pregnancy, and their immunizations are safe as well. Further information can be obtained from your doctor or Glaxo.


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