Italian Medicines Agency Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco

Medicines in pregnancy (2014)

AIFA communication campaign 'Medicines in pregnancy'

The Italian Medicines Agency, in compliance with its institutional mandate, intends to carry out a communication campaign on the use of medicines in pregnancy. It is a large-scale scientific and social project which aims to disseminate certified and correct information on the use of drugs and to guide prescribing choices in the name of appropriateness.

The "Medicines in pregnancy" campaign stems from the need of the Italian Medicines Agency to inform the population and health professionals on the importance of correct and appropriate use of medicines in pregnancy. It is necessary to correct a distorted perception, still rooted in public opinion, which links the use of medicines to a principle of cause and effect with the appearance of teratogenic effects on the fetus, thus hindering the possibility of experiencing a calm pregnancy and exposing to the possible risks related to the lack - rather than the presence - of care.

During pregnancy, the mother and the fetus are an inseparable unit and the mother's state of health is a fundamental prerequisite for the regular development of the fetus. This entails the need to invest in correct information aimed at healthcare professionals and citizens on the importance of taking medicines during pregnancy when deemed necessary by the medical doctor.


The campaign aims to:

  1. change the negative perception on the use of medicines in pregnancy;
  2. raise awareness of the importance of taking medicines where deemed necessary by the medical doctor in the ways and doses indicated;
  3. disseminating scientifically validated knowledge to healthcare professionals on the use of medicines during pregnancy in relation to specifically identified common or intercurrent pathologies.


The communication campaign is aimed at the general population, with particular regard to women of childbearing age, as well as to healthcare professionals.


The communication campaign aims to define the following main messages:

  • medicines during pregnancy, when necessary and prescribed by the doctor, must be taken for the health of both the woman and her child;
  • not taking care of yourself jeopardises both the health of the unborn child and your own;
  • a chronic disease requiring pharmacological treatments is not incompatible with pregnancy; it is advisable to speak to your doctor;
  • the replacement of a medicine prescribed during pregnancy, or the modification of doses, must be carried out exclusively by the doctor;
  • only 2% of the teratogenic effects are due to medicines taken in pregnancy;
  • the dosage of many chronic therapies may need to be adjusted.


The messages described above will be conveyed through both television and radio broadcasting channels as well as press campaigns, billboards, dynamic urban advertising and awareness-raising actions on social media.

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