FDA Panel Votes To Remove A Controversial Pregnancy Drug From The Market

There are many rules when it comes to what you can and cannot ingest during pregnancy, including processed foods and alcohol. When it comes to drugs and medications, the list of what not to take may shock some. According to Alberta Health Services, pregnant women should avoid taking Pepto-Bismol, cough and cold medicines that contain guaifenesin, and decongestants phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine, all of which may increase the risk for birth defects.

But what about the medications that are prescribed specifically for pregnant women? If your doctor or provider prescribed you a medication, it is often okay to assume that it is safe to take. But this is not always the case. As far back as the 1960s, drugs once deemed safe for pregnant women have been taken off the market after mothers and children were harmed. The latest drug to be on the removal list is Makena, which, according to the U.S. News & World Report, is prescribed to women who have a history of premature births.

The FDA voted to remove Makena due to its negative side effects and lack of effectiveness

Taking any drug during pregnancy can be worrisome; in fact, according to GoodRX, even Advil is not recommended after 20 weeks. According to their website, Makena is "a progestin indicated to reduce the risk of preterm birth in women with a singleton pregnancy who have a history of singleton spontaneous preterm birth." According to WedMD, pregnant women take this drug via injections once a week starting at their 16th week of pregnancy. Women are instructed to continue the injections until the 37th week or delivery.

But the FDA wasn't convinced, and after the drug failed to show any effectiveness in helping mothers prevent preterm birth, they voted to take Makena off the market, per U.S. News & World Report. Not only was the drug ineffective, it also had negative side effects, including blood clots and depression. But this vote doesn't mean Makena can no longer be prescribed just yet. According to USA Today, the FDA commissioner will make the final decision on whether or not to withdraw it from the market in the next few months.