By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When we see a pregnant woman we are always very careful to minimize the medications that they take. We know that certain drugs taken at certain times can affect the health of the unborn baby. But, over the years, many prescriptions have become over-the-counter medications.

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Back in 1979, the US Food and Drug Administration began reviewing all prescription and OTC medications to develop risk categories for use in pregnancy. Most OTC medications taken during pregnancy are for allergy, respiratory, gastrointestinal, or skin conditions.

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Obviously it is important to talk with your physician about medications: some of the most common medications are pain relievers, cold medications, and heartburn medications.

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One other area of concern I need to stress. Just because something is called natural does not mean it is safe.