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Antibiotics and Pregnancy: What is Safe?



Is it safe to take antibiotics during pregnancy?

Answer by Yvonne Butler Tobah, M. D.

Antibiotics are commonly prescribed during pregnancy. However, the specific drug needs to be carefully selected. Some antibiotics can be taken during pregnancy, others not. Safety depends on several factors, including the type of antibiotic, when you are taking the antibiotic in your pregnancy, how much you are taking, how it might affect your pregnancy, and how long you are taking antibiotics.

Sampling of antibiotics generally considered safe during pregnancy:

  • penicillins, including amoxicillin, ampicillin
  • cephalosporins, including cefaclor, cephalexin
  • erythromycin
  • clindamycin

. For example, tetracyclines may discolor the teeth of a developing baby. The intake of tetracycline after the 15th week of pregnancy is not recommended.

If an antibiotic is the best treatment for your condition, your doctor will prescribe the safest antibiotic in the safest dosage. If you have any questions or concerns about using an antibiotic during pregnancy, consult your doctor.

Updated: 2017-10-10

Release date: 2017-10-10


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