Fetal Risk

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Dear Health Care Professionals,

İbrahim Gözoğlu

Dr. İbrahim Gözoğlu

Medical Director

It can be pretty much difficult for doctors and pharmacists to write a prescription to a patient in pregnancy or lactation period or consult on a drug use for a patient in this period.

The basic question to be answered in such a situation is “Which drugs should be prescribed or avoided for patient in pregnancy or lactation period?”. It is not always easy to answer this question or sometimes a clear and precise answer to this question cannot be found (Li 2005). Major congenital malformations are observed in approximately 2% to 3% of all pregnancies. These malformations represent a serious burden on the affected children, families and society in considerable extent. Etiology of malformation in more than half of these cases is unknown (Kalter 2003). Although the drugs cause less than 1% of all birth defects, between 40% and more than half of pregnancies are being unplanned pregnancy and the doctors should often advise to pregnant exposed to drugs accidentally or because of inattention. According to statistics, it is estimated that between 15% and 50% of pregnant women use a pharmaceutical agent in the first trimester and these women are often not aware of their pregnancy when they use a pharmaceutical agent (Jörg 2007).

During the past 20 years, teratologists have created some risk classification systems based on teratogenic or non-teratogenic fetal risk levels with data obtained from human and animals. Drug safety classifications group the drugs according to the fetal safety. The purpose of this classification is to give information to the professional health care professionals about possible or precisely defined risks and the security situation when drug is used during pregnancy (Alvan et al. 1995; Doering et al. 2002). These classifications can also be used as a source for epidemiological researches for studies on the drug choice during pregnancy (Malm 2005). The first classification system regarding the drug use in pregnancy in the world was founded in 1978 in Sweden. This first system is called "Sweden Catalogue of Approved Drug (Farmaceutiska Specialiteter i Sverige / FASS)". US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed another classification system a year after in 1979. Australian Drug Evaluation Committee / ADEC, in 1989, created its own classification system using the values of both Sweden and the USA classification systems. Today, except these three systems used widely in the world, in several European countries such as the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, there are different classification systems which are designed and used by the health authorities of those countries (Li 2005).

Fetalrisk.com website is prepared for health care professionals and a medical website containing information about drug use during pregnancy. Our website was established to overcome the challenges that the health care professionals faced on safe drug use in pregnancy. Fetalrisk.com website is an important source of information to meet the needs in this area with the number of drug substance contained and comprehensive content.


Ibrahim Gozoglu, M.D. / July, 2016

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