In order to improve the safety of drugs in pregnancy and lactation, it is imperative that data on clinical practice be collected and validated.
Data on routinely used medications were requested from 9 Swiss perinatal centres (5 university hospitals for obstetrics and 4 non-university centres). Furthermore, recommendations and guidelines from scientific societies for the fields of application were sought.
Part II (lactation): For the lactation period, 48 different active substances were each identified by at least 4 centres. The active constituents most frequently cited by the centres were i. v. iron, lorazepam, nifedipine and paracetamol. Only a few guidelines were found that explicitly refer to the breastfeeding period. Therefore, fewer recommendations for use during lactation could be found compared with during pregnancy.
As with during pregnancy, the same active ingredients are consistently used in Swiss perinatal centres for many different indications during lactation. Most of these active ingredients are labelled with a warning or are even considered to be contraindicated; their use is therefore mainly off-label. Official authorisation for frequently or consistently used active substances is urgently needed. With this study, a first important step towards national harmonisation has been taken.

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