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Antibiotics in pregnancy

(13 Posts)
jewel2000 Sun 12-May-13 21:21:20

Am currently 31+3 with DD2. DH diagnosed with tonsillitis on Friday and my symptoms had predictably started by Saturday so I went to out of hours GP. She confirmed tonsillitis and prescribed me 7 days of phenoxymethylpenicillin saying it was fine to take in pregnancy but also that even bacterial throat infections get better on their own without antibios.
When I got home I read the leaflet which said do not take this while pregnant. Same advice on nhs website but other sites say its ok and obvs the doc knew I was pregnant when prescribing.
I haven't taken any yet but not getting any better and taking 2 paracetamol every 6 hrs for pain and fever which I'm not happy about but need something!
Am I being unduly paranoid? Should I just take the penicillin or get on with it without ? Any opinions/ experience welcome.

Bunnylion Sun 12-May-13 21:33:06

A doctor prescribing it to you with the knowledge that you are pregnant overrides the advice on the leaflet.

I had some nausea medication early on that said do not take if pregnant. It was actually medication designed to treat psychosis but happened to also stop nausea so is regularly given out for morning sickness. I think they have to say "do not take if pregnant" on the leaflet because there hasn't been official trials done on pregnant women - for obvious ethical reasons.

If your doctor prescribed it to you knowing that you are pregnant then I would trust their medical knowledge and experience and take it.

Bunnychan Sun 12-May-13 21:47:01

I had some a few weeks ago for a water infection and read the label and it said the same so I phoned the surgery to check. Turned out they were safe during third trimester but not in the first or second. Can't remember what they were but you could always check if you're not sure x

Fairylea Sun 12-May-13 21:50:40

Some antibiotics are completely safe during pregnancy. I have an immune disorder and take antibiotics everyday all year round and during two pregnancies and everything was fine and healthy (cefalexin).

If you are very worried ring the midwife and speak to them or ring your gp surgery tomorrow for extra reassurance.

3MenAndMe Sun 12-May-13 21:56:44

The doctor did not override the info on the leaflet- it is usually the manufacturer who wants to be on the safe side.
As long as you are not allergic to penicillin you should be fine,it is one of the safest,broad spectrum antibiotics...

Ginformation Sun 12-May-13 22:00:09

Absolutely no problem taking penicillin in pregnancy (unless allergy). One of the oldest, safest antibiotics there are. Hope you feel better soon.

WidowWadman Sun 12-May-13 22:00:30

I've taken a lot of antibiotics in my second pregnancy - IV and orally, and my child was fine.
Risk of untreated bacterial infection is worse than risk of antibiotics prescribed by a doctor who knows about the pregnancy.

SusanaS Mon 13-May-13 10:48:49

I've found that calling the pharmacy to double check is the best thing to do in this kind of situation - they're the ones that REALLY know about medicines.

I was prescribed something totally unsuitable in my last pregnancy by a locum doctor whose English wasn't brilliant. Glad I double checked!

Twinklestarstwinklestars Mon 13-May-13 10:53:42

I've had amoxycillin, co-amoxiclav and clarimycin? Sp all in the last month to shift a chest infection along with 2 short courses of steroids, the doctor wouldn't have given them if the benefits didn't outweigh the risks, my consultant wasn't impressed but they couldn't leave me wheezing as it would have done more harm.

Kelly1814 Mon 13-May-13 10:58:43

agree that it's a benefit/risk decision guided by doctor.

i've had antibiotics times in this pregnancy (more than in the last 5 years!)

amoxil - for bronchitis
augmentin - for bladder infection and after my cerclage

currently taking suprex for recurring UTI.

lovely side effect s that i now have chronic thrush and can barely sit down - delightful!!!

BraveLilBear Mon 13-May-13 16:40:55

I had a problem early doors and was told that penicillin is safe throughout pregnancy - problem was it din't do naff all for me so I ended up in surgery!

Afterwards, I got put on antibiotics that said in big capital letters 'do not take in first trimester of pregnancy'. I was 8-9 weeks gone. Rang up the hospital pharmacy in a total blind panic and they were fantastic - basically said that because of the surgery I'd had, there was a much much greater risk to me (and baby) if I got a secondary infection than from taking the meds.

They said what others have here - they can't test on pregnant women, so will often put these cautions on. Definitely ring up pharmacy - they were really helpful.

Kelly ouch - you poor thing!

Tinyflutterby Mon 13-May-13 22:09:02

They just put the caution on to cover themselves due to the ethical reasons for not testing in pregnancy. I had 3 UTI's in my first pregnancy, roughly one in each trimester and needed antibiotics each time. Some are safe to take in pregnancy and it's definetly a benefit outweighing risk situation. Sometimes the infection can be more damaging that the slight risk of the medication.

Springforward Mon 13-May-13 22:20:47

I took penicillin early in this pregnancy.

I think that realistically there is a risk-benefit decision made whenever a drug is prescribed, and the doctor's skill is in deciding where that lies TBH.

For example, DS often gets ear infections. Last big one was penicillin-resistant so Pathology recommended one which is actually ototoxic but which would have cleared the infection. After some pfb discussion GP recommended we give it a few days before taking the antibiotics as DS wasn't too ill. As it went, he got better without the antibiotics but if he hadn't he would have been prescribed them and I would have given them to him.

I think this ramble is trying to say that nothing is without risk, and it's worth finding a GP you trust!

Oh, and in this pregnancy I have formed the view that drug companies and pharmacists are the most risk-averse groups of people on the planet.

Personally I would like to see a law passed that all drug info must come with data, so when you read the side-effects bit it would tell you what % of people would be expected to experience that side effect. That would be properly informed consent, I think.

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