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We would like to comment on Ms Repchinsky’s response1 to the Motherisk Update published in the March 2010 issue of Canadian Family Physician2 regarding the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties as a reference for safety information on drug use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Ms Repchinsky identified a number of useful resources for pregnancy and breastfeeding information that we neglected to mention in our article, as we were focusing on the product monograph, which is frequently used by physicians to elicit information regarding drugs in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The “Clin-Info” section (a feature of the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties), Patient Self-Care, and the upcoming edition of Therapeutic Choices—all published by the Canadian Pharmacists Association—can be a starting point for information on exposures to drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and are more reliable resources than product monographs. However, it appears that many health care providers might not be aware of these important resources, as consultations with the Motherisk Program most often involve concerns about use of a particular medication during pregnancy and lactation arising from information in the product monograph. Consulting with these Canadian Pharmacists Association publications rather than solely relying on the product monograph would be a better option; if questions remain unanswered or further information is required, the Motherisk Program is available to provide the most current evidence-based information on the safety of drug use in pregnancy and breastfeeding.