Safety classification systems used in dermatological medication risk counseling of pregnant and lactating patients: a case for an evidence-based approach


  • Conflicts of Interest: Ms. Wong, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Murase report no conflicts of interest. No funding supported the production of this manuscript.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jenny E. Murase, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor UCSF, Department of Dermatology, Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group, 701 East El Camino Real (31-104), Mountain View, CA 94040, or email:


Many women of childbearing age use prescription and non-prescription medications. Therefore, patients need to be counseled regarding the potential teratogenicity of medications if they are, or could become, pregnant. In this editorial, the present authors will explain the three advantages of the evidence-based medicine system when compared with the US Food and Drug Administration system for medication risk classification in pregnancy. The present authors will also comment on medication use during lactation and provide resources on medication use during pregnancy and lactation for clinicians and their patients.