When To Contact Your Doctor:
- If you are coughing up green or yellow mucus
- If you have a fever above 101Â° F
- If you cannot eat or sleep
If your infection is not improving, your doctor may prescribe medication. Your doctor will determine the best medication to take that is safe for you and your baby. While sinus infections are not fun, there are ways you can take care of yourself either through medication or home remedies to alleviate your symptoms and promote your recovery.
Want to Know More?
- Keep track of your medication by downloading the Fetal Life App for Apple and Android endorsed by the American Pregnancy Association. It features medicine tracking, meal recommendations, kicks counter, blood glucose tracking, and much more.
Compiled using information from the following sources:
1. Harms, R. W. . . Mayo Clinic guide to a healthy pregnancy . New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
2. Jordan, R. G., Engstrom, J. L., Marfell, J. A., & Farley, C. L. . . Prenatal and postnatal care: A woman-centered approach. Ames, IA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
3. Larson, D. E. . . Mayo Clinic family health book: The ultimate illustrated home medical reference. New York, NY: William Morrow and Company, Inc.
4. Simkin, P., Whalley, J., & Keppler, A. . Pregnancy, childbirth, and the newborn: The complete guide. Gorham, K. . Deephaven, MN: Meadowbrook Press.
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Cold And Flu Nighttime
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From Cold And Cough To Hemorrhoid And Nausea We Break Down Safe Otc Medications To Take While Pregnant
Its the dead of winter and you cant sleep, because youre 7 months pregnant and your baby has decided to be nocturnal. You know you need sleep, because lack of good rest inhibits your immune system. This stresses you out, because your spouse has a nasty cold, and youd rather avoid it.
Your spouse is resting peacefully in the guest room because he has a plethora of over-the-counter medications at his disposal.
But not you. Youre pregnant, and your OTC medicine choices are extremely limited. So, you hope to stay healthy amid the stress and discomfort of pregnancy. Not to mention its cold and flu season.
Then, you realize. Your nose is running. Your sinuses feel clogged. Youre getting sick.
Your first instinct is to want to grab those great medications your spouse is taking. But you know you have to be careful.
In no time, youre miserable with symptoms of the common cold. Youre desperate for relief, but you know the safety of your baby is paramount.
Advanced Womens Healthcare is here to help with a comprehensive list of safe over-the-counter medications to take during pregnancy. Always consult your doctor for the best personalized choices for you.
Pregnant women: Dont forget to get your flu shot at AWH Dallas!
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Common Medications To Avoid
Knowing what not to take is almost more important than knowing which medications are safe to take during pregnancy. There are a number of medications to avoid while pregnant unless recommended by your doctor. These include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin and Advil , Bayer , and Aleve and Naprosyn , higher doses of which can cause premature blood vessel closure in the baby. However, low-dose aspirin is now routinely recommended for other indications.
- Any cold remedy containing alcohol, including Benadryl and NyQuil
- Codeine, a narcotic drug which may cause fetal respiratory depression
- Bactrim , an antibiotic that can interfere with folic acid metabolism while stimulating the production of bilirubin , both of which are not good for the baby. The concern for folic acid metabolism is only in the first trimester, and the concern for jaundice is only after 32 weeks gestation. The medication can otherwise be used without concern, especially when treatment is necessary.
- Pseudoephedrine- and phenylephrine-based decongestants, both of which may cause the constriction of blood vessels, potentially increasing the risk of a specific birth defect in the first trimester and risk of elevated blood pressures if used later in pregnancy.
If your cold or flu is severe and you are experiencing chest pains, are coughing up discolored mucus, or have a fever over 102o F, call your doctor immediately.
Heartburn And Acid Reflux
OTC antacids containing alginic acid, aluminum, magnesium, and calcium are generally safe during pregnancy:
- aluminum hydroxide-magnesium hydroxide
- calcium carbonate
For severe heartburn, your doctor may suggest taking H2 blockers, such as:
- ranitidine . Ranitidine, brand name Zantac, is now marketed as Zantac 360, which contains a different active ingredient . Famotidine is in the same class as ranitidine and works the same way but has not been found to contain unacceptable levels of NDMA.
Lifestyle changes may also help take the edge off heartburn:
- Wear loose-fitting clothing that doesnt put pressure on your abdomen.
- Try keeping a food diary to help identify certain foods that may trigger your reflux.
- Wait three hours to lie down after meals. Avoid late meals right before bedtime.
- Sleep with your head elevated at night.
- Eat small meals throughout the day.
Speak with your doctor if your heartburn becomes severe. In rare cases, it may be a sign of HELLP syndrome. This is a serious pregnancy complication.
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Choosing The Best Cold Medicine For Pregnancy
Most cold medicines contain two or more drugs to treat several symptoms, making it more likely that they may contain a drug that isn’t safe during pregnancy. To be safe, read labels and choose an option with the least number of active ingredients. During pregnancy, it’s usually best to buy the specific medications you need individually rather than a multi-symptom medication.
Always talk to your healthcare provider before taking any medication when you’re expecting. That way you can be sure you’re choosing the safest option at the recommended dosage, and that it doesn’t interfere with any other medications or supplements you’re taking.
Learn more about which medications are safe during pregnancy.
BabyCenter’s editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you’re seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.
Erebara A, et al. 2008. Treating the common cold during pregnancy. Canadian Family Physician h54:687-9.
Medscape. 2013. Drugs in pregnancy.
MotherToBaby. 2020. Cetirizine.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of This Medicine
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
In rare cases, acetaminophen may cause a severe skin reaction that can be fatal. This could occur even if you have taken acetaminophen in the past and had no reaction. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling. If you have this type of reaction, you should never again take any medicine that contains acetaminophen.
Stop using the medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
- severe headache, seizure
- fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats
- confusion, hallucinations, severe dizziness or drowsiness, slow or shallow breathing
- tremor, restless muscle movements
- little or no urinating
- flu symptoms, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, weakness, feeling light-headed or
- nausea, pain in your upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice .
Common side effects may include:
- headache, sleep problems
- upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation
- dry eyes, blurred vision, dry mouth or nose
- mild dizziness or drowsiness, trouble concentrating
- feeling restless or excited or
- mild skin rash.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Can I Take Tylenol While Pregnant
Acetaminophen has long been considered one of the few drugs safe to take during pregnancy, but a 2016 study in the International Journal of Epidemiology found a link between acetaminophen and autism. While studies like this are scary, it doesnt mean women shouldnt take Tylenol. Its not a warning that women should stay completely clear of acetaminophen, says David Olson, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and physiology at the University of Alberta. As with all medications during pregnancy, women should take the lowest dose possible of for the shortest period of time.
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Acetaminophen / Chlorpheniramine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine Pregnancy And Breastfeeding Warnings
Acetaminophen / chlorpheniramine / dextromethorphan / phenylephrine is also known as: Alka-Seltzer Plus Maximum Strength Cold & Cough, Alka-Seltzer Plus Maximum Strength Cold & Cough Liquid Gels, Alka-Seltzer Plus Severe Cold & Flu Formula Effervescent Tablets, Alka-Seltzer Plus Severe Sinus & Cold Hot Drink Mix, Codral Cold and Flu + Cough Day and Night, Cold Multi-Symptom , Comtrex Cold & Cough Day Night, Comtrex Nighttime Cold & Cough, Dimetapp Childrenâs Multi-Symptom Cold & Flu , Dimetapp Childrenâs Nighttime Flu, Giltuss Childrenâs Multi-Symptom Cold & Flu, Giltuss Multi-Symptom Cold & Flu, Multi Symptom Cold , Multi Symptom Cold Relief, PediaCare Flu Plus Acetaminophen, PediaCare Multi-Symptom Cold Plus Acetaminophen, Theraflu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough Caplets, Theraflu Warming Relief Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold Caplets, Triaminic Multi-Symptom Fever & Cold, Tylenol Childrens Cold + Flu, Tylenol Cold Head Congestion Day and Night, Tylenol Cold Head Congestion Nighttime, Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom Nighttime, XL-3 Xtra Cold and Cough
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A Word About Antibiotics
So many patients call asking for antibiotics for a cold,usually when theyve had symptoms for several days. There are a few times whenantibiotics are appropriate, for instance, strep throat or sinus infectionscaused by bacteria. But antibiotics simply dont work against viruses thatcause the common cold. Overprescribing antibiotics for viral illnesses leads toantibiotic resistance, which means the bacteria grow stronger over time andbecome tougher to beat with antibiotics.If a doctor prescribes an antibiotic for cold symptoms, its usually a short,three-day round of drugs. The patient often feels better after finishing themedication but probably would have recovered in that timeframe anyway withoutthe drug.
Sinus Infection While Pregnant
Pregnancy comes with its own set of challenges that can make dealing with a sinus infection much harder than normal. For one, you are more likely to get sick, as pregnancy suppresses the immune system.
These natural changes in immunity exist to strike a balance between the mothers health and to protect the baby from disease. Additionally, certain parts of the immune system are suppressed to prevent the body from rejecting the fetus as something foreign.
While these are all natural functions, they unfortunately make sinusitis a pervasive threat, particularly for those who have been susceptible to infections in the past. Additionally, several conventional sinusitis treatments are unsafe for pregnant women, so it is important to know what you can and cannot use to treat your sinus infection while pregnant.
The good news is that, despite these challenges, a sinus infection will most likely not affect your unborn child. The first step is to determine whether or not you have sinusitis.
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Is Ethylparaben Safe For Pregnancy
safeHome remedies for strep throat during pregnancy
Can You Take Antidepressants And Anti
There is mixed research about the safety of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications for pregnant women. Some risks have been identified. For example, benzodiazepines are not recommended because they may cause problems like orofacial clefts, hypotonia, apnea, and feeding difficulties. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors have been linked to birth defects in some studies, but not others. Tricyclic Antidepressants may cause preterm births and other complications.
However, there are also risks to leaving a psychiatric disorder untreated. Women with depression are at increased risk of certain medical conditions, and they may not properly care for themselves during or after pregnancy. Its important for pregnant women to tend to their mental health so that they can properly care for the baby.
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Medications To Avoid During Pregnancy
Always check with your doctor or OBGYN before taking any medications prescription, over-the-counter, or homeopathic particularly the following.
- Pain relievers and fever reducers like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can cause pregnancy complications, particularly if taken during the third trimester.
- Avoid non-steroidal nasal sprays containing oxymetazoline.
- Dont take supplemental vitamins or herbal remedies without medical approval.
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Which Drugs Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy
Its best to ask your doctor before taking any medication during pregnancy. Even herbal remedies and vitamins either havent been adequately studied. Common medications that should be avoided during pregnancy include:
- ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure or congestive heart failure, which can cause miscarriage or birth defects
- Isotretinoin for cystic acne causes extreme birth defects
- Methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis causes birth defects or miscarriage
- Naproxen , an NSAID used for pain treatment, can cause birth defects, miscarriage, increased fetal blood pressure and can reduce the amount of amniotic fluid
- Valproic acid for epilepsy and bipolar disorder can cause heart defects and cleft palate
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How Much Tylenol Is Safe During Pregnancy
If you are taking Tylenol Extra Strength, your recommended dose will be 2 caplets every 6 hours while the symptom lasts. Pregnant women can take a maximum of 3,000 mg of acetaminophen in 24 hours, which is the same as any non-pregnant adult.
Historically, the daily maximum dose of acetaminophen was 4000 mg in 24 hours for adults. In 2012, FDA suggested a daily dose of 3,000 mg but did not mandate it. If you think, you might need more than the recommended dose of Tylenol during pregnancy, consult your OB-GYN first.
If you are taking Tylenol PM, which contains diphenhydramine along with acetaminophen, the suggested dosage is 2 caplets at bedtime with not more than 2 caplets in 24 hours.
It is crucial to keep in mind that acetaminophen is also present in other over-the-counter drugs like the medications for cough, cold, and flu. So, if you are taking multiple medicines, you must consider the total dose of acetaminophen per day and not only how much Tylenol you are taking.
About 65% of women have used acetaminophen at some point during their pregnancy and it is generally considered safe in proper dosage compared to other pain-relieving drugs like Aspirin and Ibuprofen, which have been linked to birth defects.
Medicines That Are Safe For Pregnant Women To Take When Sick
When you are pregnant, your immune system doesnt operate at maximum capacity, which is actually a good thing because it keeps your growing baby protected, and stops your body from thinking the fetus is an intruder. However, this comes with the downside that your body cant ward off the viruses that cause the common cold quite as effectively. This can leave you vulnerable to the symptoms that come along, including a congested nose, cough, and sore throat.
As we move into cold and flu season, you may find yourself coming down with a cold, and while you can rest assured that your baby isnt experiencing any of them, you want to get rid of the symptoms quickly and safely. While colds are mostly an uncomfortable annoyance best managed by a little extra rest, fluids, and patience, you may find yourself seeking out cold medications to alleviate your symptoms. We recommend making a so they can steer you in the right direction in terms of cold medications that are considered safe during pregnancy. Here are our own recommendations on what to do if you get sick while pregnant.
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