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Fifty years of independent expert advice on prescription medicines

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12 February 2014

Prescribing medicines in pregnancy

One of the achievements of ADEC that many health professionals are familiar with is the pocket-sized booklet Prescribing medicines in pregnancy.

Cover of Prescribing Medicines in Pregnancy bookletThe 1999 booklet was the fourth edition, with each edition containing a hundred or so additional medicines. The categorisation system is unique to Australia, and was created by ADEC as an adaptation of the Swedish system, as a way of being concise.

Instead of a booklet, the Therapeutic Goods Administration now has an online database Prescribing medicines in pregnancy database, which is regularly updated with the latest information from Product Information documents.

Every prescription medicine has a 'Use in Pregnancy' section as part of the Product Information document. ACPM scrutinises this section and provides relevant advice.

Medicines are not simply placed into a category; many are accompanied by statements relevant to their medicine class, such as general anaesthetics or medicines for asthma.

All general anaesthetics carry the potential to produce central nervous system and respiratory depression in the newborn infant...

The benefits of asthma control outweigh any potential for an adverse pregnancy outcome.

screenshot of Prescribing Medicines in Pregnancy websiteIn 2013 there were 3700 visits every month to the Prescribing medicines in pregnancy database

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