You may be concerned when deciding whether you should take a medicine during pregnancy or not. You should discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of medicines. It is advisable to consult a doctor before starting or stopping medication during pregnancy. During pregnancy, you may see yourself in doubt and keep feeling anxious about taking regular over-the-counter medications (OTCs). Your focus may have shifted mainly to your growing baby. However, you may also need special attention, especially if you get sick. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9 out of 10 women take medicine at some point during pregnancy. Some medicines can be safely taken during pregnancy. But others are not, as their effects on your baby can be unknown.
When you visit your doctor to confirm your pregnancy, ask what kind of medicines you are allowed to take and for which medicines you need to find an alternative. Your doctor will let you know about the risks and benefits so that you know what is safe. Also, remember to tell your doctor about the alternatives and dietary supplements you are taking, even if it says it is natural on the label. Also, if you receive new prescriptions during pregnancy, make sure that the people who prescribe them know that you are pregnant.
Need to take any medication while you are pregnant?
You may get sick and might find the need to take medication. Now whether you can take medicine during your pregnancy is a serious issue that must be discussed with your doctor. Some health problems need to be treated. If you do not use the medicines you need, you and your baby can be harmed. For example, an untreated urinary tract infection (UTI) can turn into a kidney infection. Kidney infections can cause preterm birth and low birth weight. Antibiotics are needed to cure urinary tract infections. Ask your doctor if the benefits of taking certain medications outweigh the risks to you and your baby.
What medicines are safe to take during pregnancy:
Prenatal vitamins are safe and important when you are pregnant. Talk to your doctor about the safety of taking other vitamins, herbal remedies, and dietary supplements. Most herbal supplements and dietary supplements have not proven safe during pregnancy. In general, think twice before taking OTC medications during pregnancy unless it is necessary. The listed medicines or home remedies have no known harmful effects during pregnancy when taken as directed as on the package. Talk to your doctor about the safety and more information on medications that are not listed here.
If you have Allergies:
- Diphenhydramine (benadryl)
- Loratadine (Claritin)
- Steroid nasal spray (Rhinocort)
Talk to your doctor before taking these in the first semester.
If you are in pain or need headache relief:
Acetaminophen (Tylenol; category B) is one of the main medicines of choice for pain during pregnancy. It is widely used with very few adverse effects that are documented (before taking any medicine consult your doctor).
Make sure you avoid Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), during your pregnancy. NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), ketoprofen (Orudis), naproxen (Aleve).
If your pain is particularly severe, after a surgery or something- for example, your doctor might prescribe you a short course of opioid pain relievers. If taken as directed, they may not affect fetal development. Opioid use during pregnancy does carry the risk of withdrawal, called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), after delivery.
If you have a cold or flu:
Cold medicines have not been well studied for use during pregnancy. Some doctors suggest waiting up to 12 weeks to minimize the risk to your baby.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Saline nasal spray or spray
- dextromethorphan (Robitussin; category C) and dextromethorphan-guaifenesin (Robitussin DM; category C) cough syrups
- cough expectorant during the day
- cough suppressant at night
- Get plenty of rest.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water and warm liquids, like chicken soup or tea.
- Gargle warm saltwater
- Humidify the air in your room.
- Use menthol rub on your chest, like Vicks.
- Try nasal strips to open airways.
- Suck on cough drops or lozenges.
The active ingredient in Sudafed, Pseudoephedrine can increase blood pressure and might affect blood flow from the uterus to the fetus. This drug is not classified by the FDA. It may be safe during pregnancy but consult your doctor if you have high blood pressure or other concerns and also before taking any other medicines, especially in the first semester.
If you find difficulty in sleeping:
No need to panic if you have trouble getting sleep. Insomnia is experienced by a lot of people. There are safe medications for insomnia. They are those in the diphenhydramine (category B) family, including:
- Doxylamine succinate (Unisom; category B) can also be used if you are experiencing any insomnia.
If OTC medications do not work, there is a chance your doctor might prescribe the following after weighing their benefits and risks:
- sedating tricyclic antidepressants (Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline; category C)
- benzodiazepines (Ativan, Klonopin; category D)
- Benzodiazepines may be associated with the risk of cleft or lip palate. Use in later pregnancy may not carry this risk.
Try by including the following changes in your lifestyle:
- Schedule sleep, make it consistent- morning and night.
- Get regular exercise every day.
- Limit your napping if you do, to no more than 30 minutes per day.
- Skip consumption of caffeine and other stimulants.
- Create a night-time ritual. For example, take a bath, listen to some music, or do yoga.
- Explore alternative treatments, such as other meditation or even acupuncture.
For Constipation issues:
- Drink more water and fluids.
- Start adding more exercises to each day.
- Eat more fiber. There are fruits and vegetables rich in fiber (with skins, if possible) like beans, and whole grains. Ask your doctor more about fiber supplements.
If you have Heartburn or acid reflux:
OTC antacids containing alginic acid, aluminum, magnesium, and calcium are safe during pregnancy:
- Aluminum Magnesium Hydroxide Hydroxide (Maalox; Category B)
- Calcium carbonate (tums; category C)
- Simethicone (Mylanta; Category C)
- Famotidine (Pepcid; Category B)
For severe heartburn, your doctor may suggest taking the following H2 blockers: Example:
- Ranitidine (Zantac; Category B)
- Cimetidine (Tagamet; Category B)
A few lifestyle changes can also help relieve your heartburn:
Wearing loose clothing that does not put pressure on your stomach. Try to keep a food journal to identify certain foods that can cause acid reflux. Wait 3 hours to lie down after eating. Avoid late meals just before bedtime. Raise your head and sleep at night. Eat a small meal all day long. Talk to your doctor if you have severe heartburn. In rare cases, it may be a sign of HELLP syndrome. This is a serious complication of pregnancy.
For First Aid Ointment:
- J & J First Aid Cream
If you have Nausea and vomiting:
You are more likely to have nausea or vomiting or both. Morning sickness is quite common in the first trimester of pregnancy. Treatment is not always needed for this. You can always try home remedies, like eating small meals throughout the day or sipping ginger ale, before trying other medications.
You can try:
- vitamin B-6, 25 milligrams by mouth three times a day
- doxylamine succinate (Unisom; category B)
- dimenhydrinate (Dramamine; category B)
There are some of the medications your doctor might prescribe if you are experiencing severe nausea and vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarum):
- doxylamine succinate-pyridoxine hydrochloride (Diclegis; category A)
- ondansetron (Zofran; category B)
If you have any kind of Rashes:
Rashes or itchy skin can easily be treated with OTC hydrocortisone cream during pregnancy. But make sure you mention these symptoms to your doctor to rule out conditions like pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPPs). It is likely for your doctor to prescribe steroidal creams for some conditions.
If you have any cuts or scrapes, first you need to clean the area well with soap and water. You may then apply an OTC antibiotic ointment, like Neosporin, for added protection.
- Benadryl Cream
- Caladryl lotion or cream
- Hydrocortisone cream or ointment
- Oatmeal bath (Aveeno)
Note: No medicine can be considered 100% safe during pregnancy.
Some alternative therapies are safe and effective for pregnant women and help reduce some of the unpleasant side effects of pregnancy. Talk to your doctor first before using any kind of alternative therapy. And keep in mind that herbal and natural is not always the same as being safe when you are pregnant.
- For early Trimester Nausea, it is recommended to try Acupuncture, shiatsu, ginger root (250 mg capsules 4 times daily), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, 25 mg 2-3 times daily) are effective. Drinking thick syrup from cans of peaches, pears, mixed fruits, pineapples, or orange slices can also help.
- If you have Back Pain, try a Chiropractic operation. It has the best record of accomplishment. Another option is massage, but it is important to make sure that the massage therapist is well trained in prenatal massage.
- Turning a breech baby: Hypnosis and exercise can be of help.
Many medicines can be safely taken during pregnancy. Staying connected with your doctor is important. Most Obstetrics offices have a hotline where you can call between appointments. If you have any questions or concerns, do feel free to contact them.
“HealthLink.news does not have any intention to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide its users and/ or the general public with information to better understand their health. All content (including text, graphics, images, information, etc.) provided herein is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, care, diagnosis, or treatment. HealthLink.news makes no representation and assumes no responsibility/ liability for the accuracy of the information, advice, diagnosis, treatment provided herein or on its website. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY IN SEEKING TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ IT HERE OR ACCESSED THROUGH THE HealthLink.news WEBSITE.”