Christof Schaefer; PWJPeters; Richard K Mill | Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation


[Christof Schaefer; PWJPeters; Richard K Mill | Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation | Treatment Options and Risk Assessment | Third Edition


We wish to thank the readership for their suggestions and support of the second English edition. We were most appreciative that this textbook was not only available in the German language (eight editions with almost 80,000 copies), but also in Chinese and Russian. This third English edition with contributions from the experts in the field continues the tradition of integrating therapies for disease with drug selections during pregnancy and lactation.

We hope that physicians, health care and cure providers will find that this expanded third English edition enhances their ability to answer the queries frequently asked by concerned women who are planning a pregnancy, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding regarding the risk of medicinal products for themselves, their unborn or breastfed infant.

We continue to focus the content of this volume for Family Medicine Physicians, Internists, Obstetricians, Pediatricians, Psychiatrists, Medical Geneticists, Dermatologists, Lactation Consultants, Midwives, Nurses, Pharmacists, Psychologists and Toxicologists among all health care providers. The third English edition features the most relevant information in regard to acceptable treatment options and allows readers to be confident in their capability to assess the risk of an inadvertent or required treatment/exposure.

As we have indicated in previous editions, aspects of drug counseling are inadequately supported by various sources of information such as the Physician’s Desk Reference, package leaflets or pharmacotherapy hand-books. Formal drug risk classifications or statements such as “contraindicated during pregnancy” may even lead to a simplified perception of risk, e.g., an overestimation of the risk or simple fatalism, and withholding of essential therapy or the prescription of insufficiently studied and potentially risky drugs may result.


This simplified perception of risk can also lead to unnecessary invasive prenatal diagnostic testing or even to a recommendation to terminate a wanted pregnancy. During lactation, miss-classification of a drug risk may lead to the advice to stop breastfeeding, even though the drug in question is acceptable or alternatives appropriate for the breastfeeding period are available.

This book continues to be based on a survey of the literature on drug risks during pregnancy and lactation, as yet unpublished results of recent studies, and current discussions in professional societies dealing with clinical teratology and developmental toxicology. Similar to the German edition originally founded by Horst Spielmann, Berlin, this volume reflects accepted “good therapeutic practice” in different clinical settings.

It is written for clinical decision-makers. Arranged according to treatment indications, the third English edition provides an overview of the relevant drugs in the referring medical specialty available today that might be taken by women of reproductive age. The volume’s organization facilitates a comparative risk approach, i.e., identifying the drugs of choice for particular diseases or symptoms.

In addition, recreational drugs, diagnostic procedures (X-ray), vaccinations, poisonings, workplace and environmental contaminants, herbs, supplements and breastfeeding during infectious diseases are discussed in detail.

The third English edition has been completely revised. The content has been adapted for an international readership. The contributing authors reflect expertise in a range of clinical specialties, e.g. dermatology, obstetrics, pediatrics, internal medicine, psychiatry and many others.

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