ANTIBIOTIC USE IN PREGNANCY

View printable version
(Date of issue: February 2013, Version: 1.1)

This is a UKTIS monograph for use by health care professionals. For case-specific advice please contact UKTIS on 0344 892 0909. To report an exposure please download and complete a pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

Summary

It is important to ensure adequate treatment of maternal infection in pregnancy as failure to treat may lead to adverse maternal and fetal outcome as a consequence of uncontrolled infection or fever.

When considering treatment with antibacterial agents during pregnancy, the following factors should be taken into account: the severity of the maternal infection, the presence of fever, the maternal and fetal risks associated with failing to treat the mother adequately, the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects (where known) of pregnancy on drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, and the potential fetotoxicity of the treatments being considered.

Where possible, antibiotic choice should be informed by culture and sensitivity tests, however if treatment is required urgently or before test results become available, then penicillins or cephalosporins should be considered where clinically appropriate.

The quantity and quality of pregnancy safety data varies with antibiotic.  Please refer to the respective UKTIS monograph for detailed information on the fetal risks for a specific antibiotic(s).

This document is regularly reviewed and updated.  Only use UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from TOXBASE.org or UKTIS.org to be sure you are using the most up-to-date version.

This is a summary of the full UKTIS monograph for health care professionals and should not be used in isolation. The full UKTIS monograph and access to any hyperlinked related documents is available to health care professionals at www.toxbase.org.

If you have a patient with exposure to a drug or chemical and require assistance in making a patient-specific risk assessment, please telephone UKTIS on 0344 892 0909 to discuss the case with a teratology specialist.

If you would like to report a pregnancy to UKTIS please click here to download our pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this monograph was accurate and up-to-date at the time of writing, however it cannot cover every eventuality and the information providers cannot be held responsible for any adverse outcomes of the measures recommended. The final decision regarding which treatment is used for an individual patient remains the clinical responsibility of the prescriber. This material may be freely reproduced for education and not for profit purposes within the UK National Health Service, however no linking to this website or reproduction by or for commercial organisations is permitted without the express written permission of this service. This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from TOXBASE.org or UKTIS.org to ensure you are using the most up-to-date version.