What can happen to the mother when drugs are used during pregnancy?

What can happen to the mother when drugs are used during pregnancy?

A mother taking illegal drugs during pregnancy increases her risk for anemia, blood and heart infections, skin infections, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases. She also is at greater risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Almost every drug passes from the mother’s bloodstream through the placenta to the fetus.

When do drugs start affecting a fetus?

Certain drugs taken early in pregnancy (15-21 days after fertilization) during the period of blastogenesis may act in an all or nothing fashion; killing the foetus or not affecting it at all. During this early stage the fetus is highly resistant to birth defects.

How do drugs cause birth defects?

However, drugs that do not cross the placenta may still harm the fetus by affecting the uterus or the placenta. Drugs that a pregnant woman takes during pregnancy can affect the fetus in several ways: They can act directly on the fetus, causing damage, abnormal development (leading to birth defects.

How can drugs affect a child’s development?

When a child is born already addicted to drugs, it can cause many physical and developmental issues for them in early life and down the line in adulthood. This includes medical disorders affecting their organs due to delayed development in the womb, but also mental disabilities or underdeveloped cognitive abilities.

What are some harmful effects of alcohol and drug use on the fetus during pregnancy?

Drinking alcohol can increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, newborn death and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Babies with FAS have low birth weight, heart defects, facial defects, learning problems and mental retardation.

What drugs pass through the placenta?

Drugs which have been shown to undergo significant placental metabolism include azidothymidine, dexamethasone, and prednisolone (van der Aa et al., 1998). The anticonvulsant oxcarbazepine (but not carbamazepine) is also metabolized to some extent by the human placenta (Pienimäki et al., 1997; Myllynen et al., 1998).

Does the placenta protect the baby from drugs?

Towards the end of the pregnancy, the placenta passes on antibodies to protect the baby after birth. Alcohol, nicotine and other drugs and medicines can cross the placenta and damage your baby.

How far back does a drug test go on a newborn?

The detection window for most drugs of abuse in meconium and umbilical cord tissue testing is up to approximately 20 weeks prior to birth.

Which drug shows side effects like teratogenicity?

Drugs that are capable of acting as teratogens include:

  • ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors such as:
  • Acne medication isotretinoin (Accutane, Retin-A).
  • Alcohol ingested chronically or in binges.
  • Androgens (male hormones).
  • Antibiotics tetracycline (Achromycin), and doxycycline (Vibramycin), and streptomycin.

How many babies are born with birth defects due to drugs?

Exposure to certain substances, also known as teratogenic drugs, has a high chance of causing congenital disabilities, which are one of the primary causes of infant mortality. In fact, the chances that a fetus will suffer from some sort of birth defect is an alarming one in 33.

What are signs of a drug baby?

Infant of a substance-using mother

  • Short-term withdrawal symptoms may consist only of mild fussiness.
  • More severe symptoms may include acting irritable or jittery, feeding problems, and diarrhea.
  • The diagnosis for babies with signs of withdrawal may be confirmed with drug tests of the baby’s urine or stool.

Is it safe to take drugs while pregnant?

While a few prescription and over-the-counter medications are considered “safe” during pregnancy, most drugs are not. If you are taking medications for medical purposes, here are some safety tips to follow when you are pregnant: Always read the medication label.

What are the effects of prenatal drug exposure?

– Public / Media Perception (free will; legality; excesses) – What Science Tells Us (maternal health; fetal-maternal interactions; brain architecture and chemistry) – Policy Makers (public perception; legality; child welfare)

Can I take cold medicine during pregnancy?

The cough suppressant dextromethorphan is often found in over-the-counter cold medicines like Robitussin and is considered safe for pregnant women. Cough drops with benzocaine or menthol are usually approved for use during pregnancy. Benzocaine doesn’t get into the bloodstream, so it’s very unlikely to pose a risk to a developing baby.

What are the long term effects of drug babies?


  • Pre-term birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Abnormal neurobehavior
  • Birth defects