Patient: Dear Ask The Doctor: My husband and I have been planning for a year now to start trying for a baby this coming August. I am a horse trainer, and for the last four weeks I have been treating a very sick pony with an antibiotic called chloramphenicol. Although I have taken every precaution including wearing gloves when touching the pills and when administering them (I have to soak them in water and give them orally from a syringe 4 times a day), I have gotten the paste on my skin at least three times during the last month. I’ve noticed that my bm’s smell just like the meds now & my pony has the same, which is a very foul odor. His pee also smells like the meds, but mine does not. My question is : Is there any possibility that getting pregnant while handling this antibiotic will affect the baby? I’m thinking of birth defects, aborting, etc. I want to be sure I’m being safe about this. I have to continue giving this med for at least two more weeks, which takes me into August. Thanks!
Doctor: Absorption of drugs through intact skin is almost negligible. You are in addition, taking all the right precautions whil e handling the medicines. I do not think you are at any risk of an exposure to ‘adverse recations causing levels’ of the medicine. You may safely continue trying to conceive. I wouldn’t be concerned about the possibility of birth defects or adverse effects to the baby because of touching chloramphenicol tablets.All the very best to you. I hope you conceive soon and have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.