Taking Keflex While Pregnant: What You Need to Know
Is it safe to take Keflex while pregnant?
Keflex is an antibiotic medication prescribed to people to help their infections. These can include infections of the respiratory tract, middle ear, skin, bone, and urinary tract. Keflex is belongs to a class of medications known as cephalosporin antibiotics. If you are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant and want to use Keflex, you should schedule a meeting with your doctor to discuss your options.
Generally, it is recommended pregnant women stay away from using drugs as much as possible during pregnancy. This includes prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and illegal substances. Remaining drug-free during pregnancy is important, as the developing fetus is very sensitive during this time. Everything a woman comes into contact with, including foods and beverages, can impact a growing fetus. This is why it is important for women to monitor everything they put into their bodies during their pregnancies.
Specifically, using Keflex while pregnant is considered safe in most situations. However, you should always schedule a meeting with your doctor before starting any new medication. It is advised women only start medications while pregnant if their doctor believes the benefits outweigh the potential risks. An example of when the benefits outweigh the risks is when a pregnant woman is diagnosed with bronchitis. Because bronchitis can have a negative effect on the health of the mother and fetus, using Keflex to treat the infection would be deemed appropriate. Your provider will be able to determine whether using Keflex while pregnant is the right decision for your situation. In addition, you should only take approved medications during pregnancy as directed. Using more of the medication you are prescribed could produce health complications for you and the developing fetus.
If you are currently using Keflex and become pregnant, notify your doctor as soon as possible. This should be done if you are taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medications as well. Exposing the fetus to Keflex during pregnancy should not be grounds to terminate the fetus or any further fetal monitoring.
Be sure to talk to your doctor about whether you want to use Keflex for the remainder of your pregnancy. Even if you no longer want to use Keflex, you should avoid changing your Keflex dosage level or treatment schedule in any way. If you abruptly stop using Keflex, this will put you at greater risk of experiencing Keflex withdrawal symptoms. These Keflex withdrawal symptoms may include agitation, anxiety, insomnia, muscle aches, fatigue, and headaches.
Keflex withdrawal symptoms are not only uncomfortable, but they can negatively affect both yours and the fetus’ health. For this reason, it is recommended pregnant women inquire about tapering off their medications. This strategy of gradually lowering the Keflex dose over time will give your body ample time to adjust to less of the medication and help you avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. Tapering is an safe strategy for tapering off all medications, not just Keflex.
No consistent research has indicated that using Keflex while pregnant will cause birth defects or other abnormalities in newborn babies. However, some small studies have shown some adverse reactions to other cephalosporin antibiotics.
Two studies found a potential association between cephalosporin antibiotic use during pregnancy and cardiovascular defects in offspring. Other studies have shown a correlation between using these types of antibiotics during pregnancy and preterm delivery, low birth weight, neonatal complications, and neurodevelopmental impairment. Although, it should be acknowledged that these are very small studies and there needs to be more research done to confirm their findings.
Currently, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) classifies Keflex in the pregnancy risk category B. This category indicates Keflex has not been shown to cause harm to the fetus. However, Keflex can cross the placenta and distribute into fetal tissues. This is an important finding, as the placenta is the fetus’ main source of food during pregnancy. The FDA has also acknowledged there is not enough well-controlled research to indicate Keflex as completely safe for use during pregnancy. Because of this lack of research, it is recommended women only use Keflex during pregnancy when necessary. If you have any questions or concerns about the effects of using Keflex during pregnancy, set up a meeting with your doctor to discuss the topic.
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Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
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