Is there any recommended drug(s) for newborn?

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‘You are yet to write drug for my newborn’. This is a common statement made by mothers about to be discharged after delivery.  A mother wants to understand why Mrs ‘A’ was given drug for her baby after delivery while she herself was deprived of these drugs. This article aims to educate and enlighten mothers on why medications for some babies may be necessary and on the other hand unnecessary for others.


A newborn is that product of conception every pregnant woman looks forward to. Any child between the ages  of 0day and 28 days is usually classified as newborns. Mothers and guardians of newborns usually look forward to giving these bundles of joy the best kind of life possible. They want a healthy baby. They believe this baby will only gain adequate weight and look chubby if he/she is fed well and given some medications.  Most of these mothers have these regular medications saved in their memory while new mothers are usually introduced to these medications by neighbours, friends and families.

What then are the recommended drugs for my newborn

Delivery instruments and the delivery environment are expected to be as sterile as possible. From my practice so far, I have realized that tertiary and secondary facilities have better facilities for sterilization and storage of equipment although primary and private facilities also ensure they make use of available materials to ensure proper sterilization of equipment.

While some advanced private facilities also have sterilization facilities that can be compared with secondary and tertiary settings, some are struggling to meet up with primary facilities standard. To compensate for the gaps in proper sterilization, facilities affected ensure they prescribe appropriate medications for the newborn to prevent sepsis and most of them do well on these drugs. 

Unfortunately, the confusion starts when an individual who delivered at a facility with standard sterilization measures is being advised by another individual who delivered at facilities with gaps in their sterilization techniques but which has been adequately covered with antibiotics.

I have met someone who told me she gives paracetamol/bonababe, vitamins and other common over the counter medications to their children on a daily basis. Some believe that this child needs to be loaded with multivitamins so that he can eat well and gain appropriate weight. Some even go as far as treating so-called “tommy pain” in these babies because they feel the crying and twisting is due to pain in the tommy.

I would like to inform you that when you and your baby are being discharged, your physician knows and is expected to write what is needed for you. If you were discharged without medications, this likely implies that you do not need them. It’s good to ask questions from your managing team but once a clarification is made that you do not need these medications, kindly take it as such.

You do not need to seek advice or go ahead and purchase medications prescribed for your friend or during your previous deliveries. I would also like to advise that you should only give the medications for the prescribed duration. 

Why you should avoid unnecessary medications

A newborn’s organ and system cannot be compared to that of an adult. Newborns have immature organs. Loading them with unnecessary medications might serve as an injury to their liver and kidney. The effect of this injury might not be immediate. This effect usually manifests when the insult on these tender organs is continuous. For example, as simple as paracetamol looks, it can cause injury to the liver. When a caregiver continues to load this child with paracetamol, after sometime it might affect the liver. The kidney excretes most of these drugs and should not be overloaded with the toxic waste products of these medications.

Also, some processes go on in the tommy, especially within the first 3-4 months of life. This helps in the maturation of the intestines. The response of the child to this process is usually what caregiver’s see and call tommy pain. They go for over the counter medications with the aim of putting an end to the pain. The interesting thing in this is that this never stops the supposed pain. The baby stops showing this response at age 3-4 months. 


It is safe to avoid unprescribed medications for that baby. Your Physician knows better than your  neighbour,  family or friend, kindly listen and adhere to the professional advice you are given.

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Dr Kay
About Dr Kay 58 Articles
As a physician, I love to give answers to several questions bothering people, educating them on how to be healthy, breaking down what their present condition is all about and counselling them on how to manage their condition.

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