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Dexamphetamine while pregnant
First trimester

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15 replies to this topic

#1 poker_queen

Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:55 PM

Hello everyone
I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and was prescribed dexamphetamine which I was up till today still taking. I am now 22 and my husband  and I recently found out that I am 4 weeks pregnant (very big surprise as we were using contraception).

I went to the doctors today all bright eyed and over the moon to share the news with my doctor only to leave with the worst decision any parent should have to make..whether to abort or keep our baby,he gave us the worst case scenario and it is a black and white scenario by taking the risk knowing there is a chance of embryotoxicity and birth defects which has been proven in mice, refer below.I was told that Dexamphetamine is a category C medication which means risk cannot be ruled out.

"Dexamphetamine has been tested in mice and in rabbits. Some pregnant mice given 41 times the maximum dose for people showed toxic effects on the fetus. Rabbits given seven times the maximum dose did not show these effects
Animal studies have revealed evidence of embryotoxicity and teratogenicity. There are no human studies."

Can anyone share their own experience, advice  or story about dexamphetamine and pregnancy.

We are getting a second opinion this week and if we do decide to follow through with the pregnancy knowing the risks we will not know the outcome till my 20 week scan.    

thanks xo

#2 happyapple

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:04 PM

Wow that is so tough! Just don't feel pressured into making a decision. You have time to research research research!
The very best of luck and fingers crossed for you x

#3 mollybot

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:12 PM

Well for what its worth, I had two friends taking illegal drugs while pregnant - one was a full-blown heroin user and one used vast quantities of speed - both their kids are the loveliest, most well-adjusted teenagers you'd ever hope to meet ! They went through the Drug Unit at our local maternity hospital.

Most major maternity hospitals will have a specialist Unit for mothers who are taking drugs.  Here in WA the Unit at King Edwards is called Women and Newborn Drug and Alcohol Service  or WANDAS - and they are BRILLIANT !

Even though you may not be in WA, here is their helpline number original.gif

Drug Info Line KEMH (if you would like to
speak to a pharmacist for information about
medicines or drugs you are taking):
08 9340 2727

And here is their pamphlet : http://www.kemh.health.wa.gov.au/brochures...rs/wnhs0102.pdf

where they state:

Being stable on medications, including methadone and subutex, provides a better environment in your body for your baby to grow. If you are on medications, tell your prescribing doctor you are pregnant. Your doctor will monitor your dose regularly.

(PS: I am NOT in any way suggesting that you are like my friends !!!!!! -

Just that the people who would know best about the impact of the tiny amount of pharmeceutical grade dexamphetamine that you have been prescribed is likely to be the doctors at the Drug Unit at your local maternity hospital. I'd take anything a GP had to say on the subject with a VERY large pinch of salt !! You need someone with specialist expertise in this area. )

In the case of both my friends, they were both such heavy users they were told that going cold turkey would probably kill their unborn child.

...and yes, both children had to go through withdrawal when they were born - something else the specialists would be able to help you with.

Don't panic just yet !!

Get help from the experts !!

Good luck !


#4 sueb31

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:14 PM

I think you need specialised information in order to make your decision, not just the category in mims.
For example, this article offers quite a different opinion and is from a reputable source.

All the best and keep asking questions until you find the best expert. Obviously, it's not a decision to rush into. You need the best quality information for your personal situation.


#5 Soontobegran

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:24 PM

As PP has said please do not rush into a decision here. If this was your GP you were talking to I would try and get a referral to an obstetrician asap so you can discuss the possible risks for your baby and then decide on a course of action.

I hope I can help you by saying that I have cared for many women who have been taking dexamphetamine whilst pregnant and they have had normal healthy babies.

Take care, and lots of good luck to you.

#6 poker_queen

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:39 PM

Wow, thank you all so much for your reply.I am getting a little choked up with all the responses. I have definitely taken all of the advice in and Hubby and I can't stop hitting the refresh button . I was too upset to ask the doctor many questions today, he just hit me with the hard facts :'( I have immediately stopped taking dexamphetamine and I know I will have withdrawals but I am ready to do this. I am so mad at myself and if I could turn back time I would but I have to face the music. I will talk to the doctor and ask to see a specialist. thank you all again and we are eagerly awaiting more responses original.gif

p.s @soontobegran were those ladies taking dexamphetamine throughout their whole pregnancy ?

Edited by poker_queen, 04 February 2013 - 08:40 PM.

#7 saxa

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:45 PM

I'm no expert, however did your Dr advise you today to just stop taking your medication?

I only know the bad effects of just stopping anti depressants but would think the tablets you are on would cause similar withdrawal?

Please try and call a help line or something now to clarify if you should just stop.

#8 Soontobegran

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:48 PM

Were you advised to stop the Dexa just like that OP? I am no expert in pharmacology but I am certain that this is not advised.
Can you get some expert advice tomorrow? Perhaps from a pharmacist?

Many of these women took reduced doses throughout their pregnancies. There are many drugs that are Categ C which are taken throughout pregnancy as the risk of being off them is greater than the risk of being on them.
Please make enquiries asap.
Good luck to you.

#9 Cyaira

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:54 PM

Where are you from? There are some good drugs info lines you might like to call. In NSW they have mothersafe but their website has links to other drug info services in other states.


#10 poker_queen

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:00 PM

Thanks for your reply.My usual dose is 2,5mg tablets every morning and when I found out on Friday that I was pregnant I  cut back to one tablet. I am unclear if he did say to stop taking my medication as I was beside myself in shock. He did say I would experience withdrawal symptoms, mainly agitation plus pregnancy hormones and that it would take a couple of weeks for the dex to leave my system. I have a regular pharmacist who I have known for many years now so I will see them asap.

#11 poker_queen

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

@Cyaira I am from QLD original.gif

#12 CallMeFeral

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:09 PM

Oh no, I'm sorry OP sad.gif

Definitely seek out some expert advice - remember that your baby has not been absorbing everything from you for the whole four weeks yet - probably for two weeks it has been floating down waiting to be implanted, etc, burrowing in - I don't know what the differences are in impacts at that sort of stage vs. later when there is a fully formed placenta passing stuff through to the baby. I was looking into this a lot lately as I had a listeria scare while in early stage pregnancy. I don't know what the answer is - just saying don't assume that something in pregnancy is the same throughout pregnancy vs in early pregnancy.

Good luck OP - what a tough one.

#13 againagain

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:37 PM

I agree with PP. If you are only 4 weeks pregnant then really you only ovulated two weeks ago, and the embryo is only just implanting and feeding off its yolk sac still isn't it?

I would seriously NOT panic, see your pharmacist for some advice and get on to a good OB or as others suggested call your local maternity hospital and ask them to poin you in the right direction.

#14 Soontobegran

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:47 PM

QUOTE (poker_queen @ 04/02/2013, 10:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for your reply.My usual dose is 2,5mg tablets every morning and when I found out on Friday that I was pregnant I  cut back to one tablet. I am unclear if he did say to stop taking my medication as I was beside myself in shock. He did say I would experience withdrawal symptoms, mainly agitation plus pregnancy hormones and that it would take a couple of weeks for the dex to leave my system.

I am really concerned that your GP has suggested you just stop your dexamphetamine after taking it for so long with just a warning that you'll experience withdrawals and agitation from your pregnancy hormones and didn't go into any details or advise you what to do to treat your condition for which you are taking them in the first place sad.gif
I am really happy that you will be seeing your pharmacist tomorrow.

#15 monkeys mum

Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:43 PM

Op i was taking medication, not dex, but the category was a C too. I stupidly stopped taking them straight away which led to two weeks of insomnia, but i didnt want to wean off them and have them in my system for longer. I was around five weeks when i found out i was pregnant much to my surprise.

I'm now 22wks had my morphology scan and everything came back ok, i will find out for sure on Wednesday.

I like you was quite worried but figured that when i stopped taking my medication i was very very early in the pregnancy. Do you know the side effects for going cold turkey? You have to speak to someone who knows what they are talking about, call the antenatal clinic explain your situation and ask for advice. Then weigh up the risks of weaning off the dex or going cold turkey dealing with the side effects. I figured i could deal with insomnia as dp was home during the days for the kids.

Goodluck and congratulations!!!

#16 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:25 PM

I was told by my ob that drugs in the early stages arent as crucial, as before about 6 weeks the baby is only just starting to take from your body.
I was drinking and didnt know I was pregnant until 9weeks (miracle baby) and my son is perfect

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