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Common OB Drugs and Their Effects

Updated on October 16, 2013

OB Drug Guide

Whether you're pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or you're a medical student, knowing the OB drugs is quite important.

There are many different types of OB drugs that can be prescribed, but you'll find a list of common OB drugs is below. I've included the generic name, reason for use, and any other effects that may occur.

Just keep in mind that those medications listed below are not the only medications that can be prescribed. If you're pregnant or trying to conceive, you'll want to ask your OB/GYN any questions that would specifically pertain to you and your health. If you're a medical student, or if you're doing research on OB medications, knowing the more common medications will be quite beneficial.

Pregnancy is a very delicate time in a woman's life, so it's important to know and understand the differences in the drugs and what the potential effects may be. The health and safety of the woman and the fetus is top priority. Studying the OB drugs is something that should not be taken lightly.

Antepartum OB Drugs

Generic Name
Ca Gluconate
Antidote for hyper magnesium
Lung maturity
increase fetal lung maturity
Termination of pregnancy
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; fever
Blood pressure control
Magnesium Sulfate
Anticonvulsant; treatment for preterm labor
During initial dose: Facial flushing, warmth. During treatment: loss of reflexes, respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest
Blood pressure control
Tocolytis; blood pressure control
Hypotension, tachycardia, facial flushing
Hypotension, tachycardia, palpitations, pulmonary edema, facial flushing. Fetal tachycardia
Hypotension, tachycardia, palpitations, pulmonary edema, facial flushing. Fetal tachycardia

Intrapartum OB Drugs

Generic Name
Epidural anesthesia
Complications r/t hypotension episode with epidural
Morphine Sulfate
Surgical pain relief
Naproxen Sodium
Pain relief
Pain relief
Rho(D) Immune Globulin
Prevention of development of antibodies to fetus's Rh-positive blood

Newborn OB Drugs

Generic Name
Improve lung surfactant to decrease incidence of respiratory distress syndrome
Pain relief
Sedation. May cause transient loss of fetal heart rate variability. Neonatal resp if given close to delivery
Erythromycin 1% ointment
Prevention of neonatorum ophthalmia
Fentanyl citrate
Synergistic effect with epidural
Not absorbed. Hypotension with epidural
Hep B Vaccine
Prevention of Hep B
Pain relief
Sedation. May cause loss of fetal heart rate variability. Neonatal respiratory distress if given close to delivery
Cervical ripening
May cause uterine hyperstimulation
Pain relief
Sedation. May cause loss of fetal heart rate variability. Neonatal respiratory distress if given close to delivery
Reversal of respiratory depression
Induce labor. Prevent primary pulmonary hypertension
Prevention of hemorrhagic dx of the newborn
Prevention of nausea and vomiting. Synergistic with narcoticx

Postpartum OB Drugs

Generic Name
Severe primary pulminary hypertension
Docusate Sodium
Prevention of constipation
Ferrous Sulfate
Prevention/treatment of anemia
May turn stool dark
Pain relief
Medroxyprogesterone acetate
Birth control
Meruvax II
Prevention of rubella
Methylergonovine maleate
Primary pulmonary hypertension
May increase blood pressure


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