Pu­blished: 8. Fe­bruary 2022 | Up­dated: 23. Au­gust 2023 Author: Saskia Balke-Hom­berg | Re­viewed by Saskia Balke-Hom­berg

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.

Em­bryotox: Back­ground

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.

medication during pregnancy

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.

About Fer­tilly

At Fer­tilly, we have made it our mis­sion to ac­com­pany cou­ples (ho­mo­se­xual and he­te­ro­se­xual) and sin­gles on the way to ful­fil­ling their child wish. In doing so, it is im­portant to us to create trans­pa­rency in the area of fer­ti­lity ser­vices, to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion and know­ledge on the to­pics of pregnancy and fer­ti­lity and to help you to find the most sui­table Fer­ti­lity Center. Th­rough co­ope­ra­tion with first-class Fer­ti­lity Cen­tres and cli­nics in Eu­rope, en­qui­ries about Fer­tilly are given pre­fe­ren­tial tre­at­ment. This means that our pa­ti­ents avoid the usually long wai­ting times and get ap­point­ments more quickly.

If you would like more in­for­ma­tion about Fer­ti­lity Cen­ters, suc­cess rates and prices, please contact us using this ques­ti­on­n­aire. We will ad­vise you free of charge and wi­t­hout any ob­li­ga­tion.

  • Answer the first ques­tions in the on­line form in order to book an ap­point­ment. This way we can better ad­dress your needs du­ring the con­ver­sa­tion.

  • We will find the best contact person for your in­di­vi­dual needs. Sche­dule 20 mi­nutes for the con­sul­ta­tion.

  • We will in­tro­duce you to the right fer­ti­lity clinic from our net­work, make an ap­point­ment and ac­com­pany you until your wish for a child is ful­filled.

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