Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Don't take this medicine

If being pregnant isn't difficult enough, trying to follow product instructions for medicines when you're pregnant seems to be extraordinarily difficult.

My daughter had a bad headache last week and took a couple of over-the-counter painkillers. She was intrigued by the Patient Information leaflet, which is a heavily regulated document. (Perhaps reading the small print is an inherited trait - would she have bothered reading the leaflet if she didn't have someone who writes instructions as a parent?)

My daughter noticed that there was a strong warning not to take this particular medicine "during the last three months of pregnancy". In a separate section there was a warning to ask for a doctor's advice before taking the medicine "during the first six months of pregnancy or while breastfeeding."

"Why couldn't all the instructions to pregnant women be kept in one place?" my daughter asked. A very good question.

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