Toxic substances and medical treatments when pregnant

Substances like illegal drugs are never safe to take, especially during pregnancy.


Get advice from your GP if you're pregnant and you use illegal drugs. It can be dangerous for you and your unborn baby if you stop taking drugs suddenly

Visit for more information about drugs.

Avoid the following legal substances and medical treatments when pregnant:

  • alcohol – no amount of alcohol is safe for your unborn baby
  • cigarette smoke
  • contraceptive pills - you should stop using contraception immediately if you become pregnant
  • some vaccinations - always tell your GP that you’re pregnant before getting a vaccination

X-rays and CT scans use radiation. They should only be done in pregnancy when absolutely necessary.


Tell your GP, dentist or pharmacist that you're pregnant before using medication or treatment

Page last reviewed: 10 May 2019
Next review due: 10 May 2022