Supplements to Avoid During Pregnancy - CARiNG Pharmacy

Supplements to Avoid During Pregnancy

Make Sure You Avoid These Supplements During Pregnancy!


Vitamins & Supplements are natural, so they must be safe for pregnant ladies right? 

Not really. At least not all of them.

This is why pregnant ladies must not take any vitamins or supplements without consulting healthcare professionals.

Let us go through a few supplements that pregnant ladies must avoid.


Vitamin A

Fat soluble vitamins are more likely to result in toxicity; Vitamin A is one of them. Your body stores excessive Vitamin A in the liver. Excessive Vitamin A has been shown to cause congenital birth deformities.

Pregnant women must not only avoid Vitamin A supplements, but also avoid eating liver products.

Cod Liver Oil

Cod Liver Oil must be avoided by pregnant ladies.


Fish Oil and Cod Liver Oil might sound similar. Many might even confuse them. Let’s have a look at the differences between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oil:2

Dong Quai

Dong Quai, also known as Female Ginseng, has substantial proof of being unsafe for pregnancy. Dong Quai may stimulate uterine contractions, raising the risk of miscarriage.3 Some research suggests that taking dong quai with other herbs during the first 3 months of pregnancy can increase the risk of birth defects.


Ephedra, also known as Ma Huang, is a traditional Chinese herb banned in Malaysia. The US FDA also banned Ephedra due to its serious safety concern that may lead to heart attack, seizure, stroke, or sudden death.4 

Unfortunately, while Ephedra cannot be obtained through legal channels, Ephedra based products are still found in certain herbal preparations not registered with the Ministry of Health.

Ephedra is contained in the original formulation Lian Hua Qing Wen herbal medication (not to be confused with the Lian Hua Qing Wen formulation approved by the regulatory agency which does not contain ephedra).5 Lian Hua Qing Wen is a well-known formulation claimed to be effective for COVID-19 infection. 

Due to its safety concerns, Ephedra must be avoided by pregnant ladies.

Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh is thought to affect the levels of a few different hormones in the body, including estrogen. Black Cohosh might relax the uterus and stimulate contraction.6 This is why pregnant ladies must avoid Black Cohosh. 

Not all vitamins or supplements are safe for pregnancy. Just because they might be natural does not mean they are safe. For all pregnant ladies out there, remember to ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking any vitamins or supplements. 


  1. What Supplements Are Safe During Pregnancy and What Aren’t? [Internet]. Healthline. 2022 [cited 17 July 2022]. Available from:

  2. Cod Liver Oil vs. Fish Oil: Differences, Benefits, Risks, and Dosage [Internet]. Healthline. 2022 [cited 17 July 2022]. Available from:

  3. Drugs H, Supplements H. Dong Quai: MedlinePlus Supplements [Internet]. 2022 [cited 17 July 2022]. Available from:,quai%20if%20you%20are%20pregnant.

  4. Ephedra [Internet]. NCCIH. 2022 [cited 17 July 2022]. Available from:,during%20pregnancy%20or%20while%20breastfeeding.

  5. Chinese medicine banned for containing key ingredient for meth being sold in Australian supermarkets [Internet]. 2022 [cited 17 July 2022]. Available from:

  6. Does Black Cohosh Induce Labor? [Internet]. WebMD. 2022 [cited 17 July 2022]. Available from: