Medicines

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Medicines

    Let me preface this first by saying I will absolutely be asking my doctor on my first visit this Friday.  But, I am going to Africa in a few days, and had my travel clinic appointment two weeks ago (the morning I learned I was PG actually).  I didn't end up getting the recommended vaccines since they are not "safe" for pregnancy.  I did get a recommended anti-malarial medicine... 6 pills to take once a week, starting yesterday.  I took my first dose yesterday, and then did 1,000 google searches about it.  Of course, there are as many sites that say don't take it as say do.  It would definitely not be recommended to take during PG, but its one of those "benefit outweighs the risk" (of getting malaria that is).  Well... now I'm just freaking out a bit.  Its a Class C drug (meaning animal studies have shown harm to fetus, no human studies and circumstantial evidence is no harm to fetus).  I'm seriously thinking of not taking the remaining 5 doses as I can see this worrying me forever.  Certainly the next 32-33 weeks, and then even after birth if any issues were to arise.

    In addition to just venting a bit, I guess what I'm asking is has anyone had experience with having to take a medicine or treatment that may or may not be 100% on the safe list?  I know there on tons of women on daily meds that they must continue to take during PG. 

    My rationale for not taking is I'm actualy only going to be on the ground in Africa 48 hours, and will just bathe in insect repellent and am staying in a very western hotel with air conditioning, no plan to be outside at night or early morning (when the malaria insects only bite apparently).

    Again, going to ask my OB on Friday who may know more than the travel clinic doctor about pregnancy and Class C drugs... but just curious anyone's thoughts and feedback on taking/not taking?

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Medicines

    Congrats and how exciting!

    Before you skip a dose, I'd call the OB's office and ask to speak to a nurse. Don't wait until friday, call them and explain everything. Normally I would say they hear this question all the time, but prob not that common with malaria meds, BUT I'm sure they've heard it before! If not, they will do research and let you know.

    Though I have to say, only on the ground for 48 hours? After all that travel to get there-that's a rough trip!

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from siena09. Show siena09's posts

    Re: Medicines

    Have you looked at the CDC maps of malaria load?  How high risk is the area you are traveling to? Also, is it malaria/mosquito season there?  It's really hard to say, since this is about risk trade-offs, and the risks are hard to quantify.  I think your arguments for skipping it are reasonable, but if you do, I would really avoid hanging out outdoors and make liberal use of a DEET-containing repellant.  

    I was in a similar quandry with a previous pregnancy, and was leaning towards foregoing the malaria prophylaxis, but then lost the pregnancy so it was a bit moot.  Trip ended up falling during my 2ww, and I skipped the drugs anyway.  Not sure this is really good advice though, and having 1 person say "I did this and didn't get malaria" really shouldn't be very persuasive in your decision making!  Prior to TTC, I tended to just take the drugs...  

    Also, avoiding mosquitoes could be a good idea for other reasons even if you take the malaria pills--like if this is an area with dengue fever.  ALso, the malaria prophylaxis I think doesn't reduce risk of infection to 0, just makes it lower than otherwise, if I recall correctly.

    ETA: Also, wear long pants, long sleeves, socks--basically keeping your skin covered--can help reduce risk substantially as well.  AND, if I had to put money on this, I'm guessing your OB will say to take them.  I did have a friend contract malaria last year on a trip to Africa, and it was pretty crummy, so there is a counter-balancing anecodote to my own "I didn't take the pills and I didn't get malaria".  

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Re: Medicines

    IPW, I don't envy your decision at all because I don't think there is a clear cut answer.  I am not sure what I would do in your situation other than ask the opinion of as many people in the medical field as possible and then make an informed decision.  I know women who were on prescription medications for chronic conditions throughout their pregnancies such as epilepsy, depression and even certain heartburn meds and things turned out ok. Keep in mind is that 30, 40, 50, 60 years ago when our mothers, grandmothers etc. were pregnant, there was not nearly as much research out there about the dangers of pregnancy. Women smoked, drank, ate tuna fish and non pasteurized cheese, and the majority of us turned out just fine. They say information is power, but in some ways, it also creates way too much anxiety and fear, which, in its own way, is also bad for the pregnancy.   So, whatever you decide, make the decision and make peace with it.  And either way, do as Sienna suggested and cover your entire body up when you go outside while you are in Africa (and, frankly, this summer while you are here in the U.S. to avoid West Nile etc.)

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Medicines

    If you are going to be staying in an airconditioned hotel and in urban areas only for48 hours, there is no need for you to take malaria mediation at all. Once I confirmed that for my dr last month, she would not prescribe the anti-malaria medication at all before my trip, and I am not pg and I did not even discuss TTC w/ the dr.  If I were in your shoes, I would call the dr NOW (why wait till Fri), tell her/him you took 1 dose, are pg and are considering stopping and see what they say. GL.

     

    And if you are just relying on DEET for insect repellant, make sure its 20-30% concentrate.  Picaridin in 20%or more concentrate is better.  Sawyer makes a good one - you can get it on amazon. 

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from purplecow89. Show purplecow89's posts

    Re: Medicines

    Do you worry about getting into a car accident every time you take a trip that is not absolutely necessary, because it puts your fetus at risk?

    Not to trivialize, just trying to put very small risks in perspective.


    Make a reasonable decision based on the best information you can get, given in good faith by the professionals you consult.  I am going to bet they will tell you this is one that is reasonable either way.  If it were absolutely crucial you take it, or a very bad idea to take it, they'd tell you.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Medicines

    Thank you everyone for your thoughts.  And ALF thanks for the repellant suggestions.  And purplecow, while it does sound trivial when you say it like that, you are right.  We do things everyday that technically put ourselves at risk.   I guess I feel a bit more in control when behind a wheel then when in an area with such great risk of disease (and those little bugs just love me, I get eaten alive most summers).  Really makes you appreciate being born in the US!

     

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Medicines

    First of all, I did not know you were pregnant and am very excited for you!!

    Secondly, I think I would ask the doctor, which is worse for baby: pill or malaria. That said, considering the details of your trip, if it were me I know I would end up not taking the pills and being vigilant about outside exposure.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Medicines

    OB called back and said it was totally fine to not take the pills if they made me uncomfortable, especially since I do have some safeguards (air conditioning, tons of spray (for clothing and my body) and long pants/shirts, etc.).  Thanks all.

     

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: Medicines

    IPW, just wanted to follow up and see if you've returned safely? Hope you had a good trip and feel good about your decisions.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Medicines

    ML - that is so nice of you.  I have returned after a whirlwind of a trip.  Way too much plane travel in a 6 day period... but the experience was amazing.  And I have a much better understanding about our overseas programs that will help me do my job better.  I did not take any additional malaria medicine after that first dose.  I sprayed my clothes and practically bathed in my DEET spray once over there.  There were some bugs (really only at dusk when it cooled down a bit), but actually not too many, and I didn't get bit... yay!  I'm still watching my body for any signs of fever or flu like symptoms just in case.  I believe there is a 10 day incubation period for the malaria parasite... so it would be end of this week I'd perhaps see something.

    Thanks for asking :-)  I do feel good about my decision, and while I was slightly nervous while there for the few days... am glad I don't now have to be nervous for the next 32 weeks!

     
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