Safe prescribing in pregnancy needs more evidence

Against a background of rising obesity, maternal deaths from medical conditions in pregnancy, including cardiac conditions, mental health disorders, thromboembolism and sepsis, have doubled in the UK in the past 20 years.

An editorial in Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin said law changes in the US and Europe have led to more drug trials in children but prescribing in pregnancy has been “ignored by the pharmaceutical industry for too long”.

Citing valproate, the editorial said adverse effects can remain hidden for years.