Medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Many women know the dilemma of suddenly becoming ill during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Which medicines can be taken without harming the child? This is where Embryotox comes in.
We tell you what Embryotox is, how you can identify the tolerability of certain medicines and explain more about the offer and the origin of it all.
Embryotox — medication during pregnancy
What is Embryotox?
Embryotox is an institute with a free information portal that provides information on the compatibility of various medicines during pregnancy and breastfeeding. You can find information on more than 400 medicines and learn how they can affect pregnancy and breastfeeding and what alternatives are recommended. Information is also provided on common diseases and the corresponding treatments.
For more than 30 years, the Institute for Drug Safety (Pharmacovigilance) and Counselling Centre of the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin have been working to provide independent information on the tolerability of a wide range of drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The project was launched in 1988 and the website www.embryotox.de has also been available since 2008.
The Embryotox website offers independent, free information and advice on the tolerability of more than 400 medicines during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Funding of the institute
Embryotox offers information and advice free of charge both on its website and via the app. The work of the institute is independent of the pharmaceutical industry and is supported by public funds (for example support from the Federal Ministry of Health).
Embryotox: Offer & Focus
Information basis: Scientific findings & experience
Embryotox offers, among other things, the latest scientific findings on a variety of medicines and active substances regarding their tolerability during pregnancy and the subsequent breastfeeding period.
In addition to information on specific medicines and active substances, reports from women who have already had experience of taking a particular medicine during that period of time are also collected and taken into account. In the case of the respective results for a drug, the extent of experience is also assessed and differentiation is made between the respective stages of pregnancy (1st — 3rd trimester).
The results do not necessarily correspond to the information on the drug, the package inserts or the Red List. The reason for this is that the information on package inserts etc. is usually brief and can thus give the impression that most drugs are prohibited during pregnancy.
For this reason, Embryotox aims to improve and expand the information base and to improve the interpretation possibilities for those affected as well as for doctors or pharmacists.
Embryotox recommendations on the use of medicines
The recommendations provide information both on planning to take a medicine and on possible consequences after use during pregnancy. In addition, if available, more suitable alternatives to the drug or active substance sought for the particular condition are mentioned.
Advice for common diseases
Furthermore, help is offered on how to treat common diseases during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Typical diseases can be researched on the website (see below). Special features of a therapy during pregnancy are then pointed out in the respective search result.
Embryotox: Individual counselling for pregnant women
With the help of an online questionnaire, Embryotox offers free advice on taking certain medicines during family planning, during a current pregnancy or after pregnancy. This allows either individual enquiries to be made or reports to be given on the use of a particular medication during pregnancy.
Telephone counselling is also available. You can find the relevant telephone number and office hours on the Embryotox website.
For reasons of capacity, neither telephone nor e‑mail counselling is possible for breastfeeding mothers. Please refer to the information on the website.
Who is the Embryotox information for?
The entire target group of Embryotox includes far more than just pregnant and breastfeeding women who want to find out about active substances in medicines. In particular, the information portal is also of interest to doctors and pharmacists who want to expand their professional knowledge about certain medicines and active substances in relation to pregnancy and breastfeeding. Indeed, for healthcare professionals, this information can be helpful when it comes to finding the appropriate treatment for common diseases during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
How does the search on Embryotox work?
If you want to search for specific medicines and their active ingredients to find out whether you can take them during pregnancy or breastfeeding, you can do this both on the website and in the free app (Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin).
The Embryotox register is already very large and contains current scientific findings on more than 400 medicines. When searching, you can either enter the drug specifically in the “Search term” tab (section “Drugs”) or use the alphabetical listing at the bottom of the page. In this way, you can also search for specific diseases, provided they are listed in the register.
The results for the individual search queries for the medicines are then arranged in such a way that you always get answers to these following questions:
“Can the medicine in question be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
“What should be considered if the therapy is unsuccessful?”
Embryotox: Usage tips
Please note the Institute’s
on the website. The internet platform should in no way replace medical advice, but only provide information for initial orientation. Before taking any medication during pregnancy or breastfeeding, you should consult a medical specialist. He or she can look at your case and make individual decisions after appropriate examinations.
It is important to know that there is a so-called “baseline risk” in pregnancies.
According to this, “about 3–5 out of 100 children” have disorders or malformations whose origin does not necessarily lie in the mother taking medication. According to the website, 15% of all pregnancies also end in miscarriage.
These two points form the so-called “basic risk” of a pregnancy, are pointed out by Embryotox.
Social freezing: success rates
What is the ideal age to freeze my eggs? This is an often asked question in the context of social freezing. A simplified answer would be that it is generally better to freeze at a younger age than at a later age. However, it is not quite that simple.
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