Doctors may soon get a new way to tell which
medications are safe for women to use during pregnancy and when
Currently, prescription drugs carry a code in the fine print of
their labels that ranks their pregnancy safety. Category A means
it's deemed safe; Category X means it's known to harm human
fetuses. Drugs given the remaining B, C or D codes have varying
levels of evidence one way or the other.
The FDA says that's too confusing. It's proposing stripping away
the codes and replacing them with clearly marked sections in the
drug's label describing what research shows about fetal risk.
The agency says there are 6 million pregnancies a year in the
U.S. and that pregnant women take an average of three to five
prescription drugs during their pregnancy.