Drs. Vadivel Ganapathy (left) and Puttur D. Prasad are part of National Institutes of Health Program Project grant looking at whether pregnant women should continue to take many common medications at the same dose as before pregnancy.
The human placenta (pictured left and schematic description on the right) ensures that baby gets proper nutrients and oxygen but it may also interfere with the blood levels of some common medications that women continue to take during pregnancy.
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Whether pregnant women with conditions ranging from ulcers to AIDS should keep taking the same doses of medicine they took before pregnancy is a question Medical College of Georgia researchers want answered.
They are betting they’ll find that to maintain efficacy, pregnant women will need higher doses and that the placenta, a 2-pound temporary organ of pregnancy, is why.
"The idea that we are developing is that pregnant women are so different from non-pregnant women in terms of drug handling," said Dr. Vadivel Ganapathy, biochemist and interim chairman of the MCG Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "In non-pregnant women, only the intestine, liver and kidney are important to drug handling."
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