A to X: the problem of categorisation of drugs in pregnancy — an Australian perspective

Adam P Morton
Med J Aust 2012; 196 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/mja11.11498
Published online: 20 February 2012

To the Editor: Kennedy highlights a major source of frustration for mothers and health professionals — the accuracy of information regarding the safety of medications in pregnancy.1 The current categorisation system is inaccurate and outdated. Labetalol, used safely throughout pregnancy to treat hypertension for more than 30 years, has a Category C label because atenolol was associated with intrauterine growth retardation in one study.2,3 Proton pump inhibitors remain in Category C despite large studies demonstrating their safety in pregnancy.4 Hydroxychloroquine is in Category D despite extensive use in pregnancy without any adverse effect.5

  • Adam P Morton

  • Mater Hospital, Brisbane, QLD.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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