General Principles and Guidelines
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Drugs are commonly taken during pregnancy, both by prescription and as over the counter medication. Drugs used during pregnancy may show an altered pharmacodynamic profile when compared to their use in the non-pregnant population. In addition, they may cross the placenta and result in adverse effects on the fetus. There are relatively few data outlining the pharmacodynamic changes characteristic of pregnancy and new drugs are seldom tested in pregnancy when clinical trials are instituted. Prescribing drugs in pregnancy necessarily requires some knowledge of how the pregnancy may alter the pharmacodynamic profile of individual agents and a consideration of any potential adverse effects on the fetus. The use of prescription drugs can only be justified when the anticipated benefits outweigh any known risk. Prescription drugs will be needed in the management of cardiac disease and an understanding of pregnancy physiology will assist in assessing the likely efficacy and risks of these drugs.
KeywordsCardiac Output Antiarrhythmic Drug Effective Renal Plasma Flow Peripartum Cardiomyopathy Direct Renin Inhibitor
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