Pregnancy and therapeutics

Georgina Wintersgill asks what optometrists should consider when seeing pregnant women.

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Optometrists should always be aware that a female patient of childbearing age may be pregnant or breastfeeding. This is equally important for optometrists with or without independent prescribing (IP) qualifications, when using drugs clinically or when prescribing therapeutic drugs.

Pam Robertson MCOptom, an IP optometrist and Director of Angus Optix in Forfar, says optometrists should ask all women of childbearing age before prescribing or using any drug: “It’s standard procedure before a GP prescribes, so I think it’s perfectly reasonable to ask. Optometrists need to be much more mindful of the potential effects of a medication on an unborn child or a child who is being breastfed.

“Consider what the effects are on the unborn child, whether there are any contraindications for use, what the potential effects would be if they didn’t prescribe it, and whether the patient understands that.”

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