Safe Medications For Pregnant Women
Your obstetrician from Genesee Valley OB/GYN will review any medications you are currently taking to decide what is safe to continue taking during pregnancy. Some medications and herbal supplements can increase your chance of birth defects, and your doctor will review any medication you may need to stop taking if youre pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen, allergy medicine, and cold medicines are generally safe to take, while aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided.
What Medications Should You Avoid For A Cold During Pregnancy
Some medications, which are otherwise safe to treat a cold, may not be suitable to be taken during pregnancy. They include
- Ibuprofen and aspirin are analgesics that may result in low birth weight and preterm delivery. These medicines should be avoided in the last trimester as well.
- Some studies have stated that decongestants such as pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are associated with fetal birth defects, whereas other studies have refuted this claim. However, these should be avoided in the first trimester and their dose should also be limited.
- Codeine-containing cough syrups and products containing alcohol are a strict no-no.
- Never take echinacea or other herbal remedies during pregnancy without seeking approval from the physician.
- Most antibiotics are not safe in pregnancy. In case you need them, take them only as directed by the doctor.
Always try to take medicines formulated for your specific symptoms and avoid multi-symptom formulas.
Will Having A Cold Affect The Baby
Having a cold during pregnancy will not usually affect the fetus. Colds are mild illnesses that a persons immune system can handle relatively easily.
Having a cold during pregnancy will not usually affect the fetus. Colds are mild illnesses that a persons immune system can handle relatively easily.However, the persons temperature and infections can affect the fetus. If a person is experiencing a fever or other signs of infection, it is essential to speak with a doctor immediately to find the best way to reduce these symptoms.
When a person is pregnant, their body deals with a cold in much the same way as it does at any other time. The symptoms are temporary, and in most cases, the cold will be gone in 710 days.
If someone experiences the following symptoms during pregnancy, they should talk to a doctor right away:
- a fever of over 100.4° F
- severe or unusual symptoms
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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.
Herbal And Homeopathic Remedies And Aromatherapy In Pregnancy
Not all “natural” remedies or complementary therapies are safe in pregnancy.
Some products used may not be of a high quality and may contain other substances, such as lead, that could be harmful.
Tell your midwife, doctor or pharmacist if you’re using herbal, homeopathic or aromatherapy remedies or therapies.
If you do decide to use these therapies, you should always consult a qualified practitioner.
You should tell your practitioner that you’re pregnant before discussing any treatment.
The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care provides information on qualified or registered practitioners.
Organisations with PSA-accredited voluntary registers include:
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Skin Rashes Cuts Scrapes
Rashes and itchy skin can be treated with OTC hydrocortisone cream during pregnancy. But mention these symptoms to your doctor to rule out conditions like pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy . You doctor may prescribe steroidal creams for certain conditions.
For cuts and scrapes, clean the area well with soap and water. You may then apply an OTC antibiotic ointment, like Neosporin, for added protection.
Safe Medications For The Flu During Pregnancy
While many of the medications you used to reach for before you became pregnant are off-limits now, there are still some meds that are safe to take to relieve symptoms of the flu during pregnancy:
- Antivirals. Tamiflu and other antivirals are safe if prescribed by a practitioner who has diagnosed you with the flu.
- Acetaminophen. If you’re running a fever or suffering from nasty body aches or headaches, it’s generally considered safe to take products containing acetaminophen, such as Tylenol. Just talk to your doctor about the proper dosing.
- Cough remedies. Expectorants as well as cough suppressants as well as most cough drops are considered safe during pregnancy, but ask your practitioner about whether they’re okay for you and about dosing.
- Some nasal sprays. Most steroid-containing nasal sprays are fine to use during pregnancy, but check with your doctor about brands and dosing. Plain saline drops and sprays are always safe to take when you’re expecting and can help clear and moisturize a stuffy nose.
- Some antihistamines. Benadryl and Claritin often get the green light during pregnancy, but be sure to check with your practitioner before taking them. Some doctors will advise staying away from those medications in the first trimester.
Remember: Never take any medication without consulting with a doctor who knows youre expecting.
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What Can Pregnant People Take For Yeast Infections
Yeast infections are common during pregnancy, and while the condition won’t harm the baby, the last thing you want to do is suffer through the itchy discomfort. “There is some absorption of vaginal creams into the body and bloodstream, but doses are low and no studies show any effect on baby,” says Dr. Park. She adds that some doctors don’t prescribe the oral pill Diflucan or fluconazole because observational studies show that parents who have had to take extended doses for chronic fungal infections have had babies with birth defects. . However, it’s safe to take this oral yeast infection medication when breastfeeding, especially if you get the fungal infection known as thrush from your baby.
These Surprising Safer Alternatives May Be A Better Choice
Mothers-to-be get headaches and upset stomachs just like everyone else. So its not surprising that most pregnant women have used over-the-counter medications. In fact, some data suggest that, overall, women are actually more likely to use certain medicationsincluding cough and cold drugs and acetaminophen after they become pregnant.
Theres a misperception that if a drug is available over-the-counter, that its approved by the Food and Drug Administration, so it must be safe for everyone, including pregnant women, Allen Mitchell, M.D. professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health and Medicine, said. Even doctors may think this is the case. But some OTC drugs have been shown to pose risks to the developing fetus at different stages of pregnancy.
To help you and your doctor make more informed choices about which medications to take, weve identified 10 common ingredients used in OTC drugs that are risky for pregnant women, as well as safer alternatives.
Even then, you should use alternatives judiciously, and only as advised by your health care provider. Experts refer to safer medications because for 98 percent of prescription and OTC drugs, there simply isnt enough data to say for sure that a drug is entirely safe to take during pregnancy. Due to ethical concerns, most FDA-approved medicines have not been tested in pregnant women.
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How Is Flu During Pregnancy Diagnosed
To diagnose the flu, your healthcare provider may use a flu test such as:
- Rapid influenza diagnostic test : This test shows results in 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rapid molecular assay: This test shows results in 15 to 20 minutes.
Your healthcare provider will wipe the inside of your nose or the back of your throat with a long cotton swab. The test should be quick and painless.
How To Prevent A Cold During Pregnancy
Besides avoiding anyone who is visibly sick, wash your hands with soap and water a little more often and scrupulously than you did before. Dont just wash and shake use a towel to make sure your hands are completely dry when youre done. In a pinch, carry an alcohol gel with 60 percent alcohol on the label for quick sanitizing on the go.
But dont blame yourself if you still come down with a cold or several during your pregnancy, despite your best efforts. Viruses are almost impossible to avoid, especially in the winter. There are many joys of being pregnant, but alas, being even more vulnerable to nasty cold bugs isnt one of them. And just remember: This, too, shall pass.
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Where To Find Reliable Information On The Web
An Internet search will turn up lots of websites with advice on safe medications to use during pregnancy. But the advice is inconsistent and recommendations are often based on a lack of data, rather than evidence for safe use according to a study of Web-based information published in 2013.
For up-to-date, reliable information, we recommend www.MotherToBaby.org, the consumer website of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing evidence-based information on medications and exposures to other substances during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. You can also call toll-free at 1-866-626-6847 to talk to an information specialist free of charge.
Types Of Cold Medications To Consider
Even after your first trimester, it is best to speak with your doctor about the types and brands of cold medications that are safe to take. Typically speaking, you should avoid any multi-symptom product, which could include ingredients that range from painkillers and decongestants to expectorants and cough suppressants.
Instead, get the drug to treat the symptom you’re experiencing. There are a number of over-the-counter drugs considered to be safe in pregnancy, such as:
- Anesthetic cough drops such as Chloraseptic or Cepacol lozenges
- Expectorants containing guaifenesin to help clear mucus
- Alcohol-free cough syrups containing dextromethorphan, such as Tussin DM
- Combination guaifenesin/dextromethorphan drugs
- Tylenol to treat fever and minor aches and pains
- Menthol rubs such as Vicks or Mentholatum ointment
When buying any over-the-counter cold or flu remedy, always read the label closely. In some cases, there may be ingredients you should avoid. In others, there may be ingredients you don’t need.
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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.
Safety Of Nyquil Ingredients In Pregnancy
Some Nyquil medications are safe to use during pregnancy and some are not. It all depends on the ingredients found in each. You should not take NyQuil Severe Cold & Flu if youre pregnant. Use of its active ingredient in early pregnancy may be linked with some birth defects. You should also talk to your doctor before using the liquid forms of NyQuil Cold & Flu and NyQuil Cough during pregnancy.
The active ingredients in Nyquil products are listed in the chart below. Alcohol is an inactive ingredient, but it can also affect pregnancy.
- Black, R. A., & Hill, D. A. . Over-the-counter medications in pregnancy. American Family Physician, 67, 2517-24
- Briggs, G. G., Freeman, R. K., & Yaffe, S. J. . Drugs in pregnancy and lactation: A reference guide to fetal and neonatal risk. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
- Quinlan, J. D., & Hill, D. A. . Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. American Family Physician, 68, 121-128
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What Medications Are Safe During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant or are planning to be, one of the first questions youll have is, what medications can I take and which ones are not safe during pregnancy? For the best answer to this question, start by having a discussion with your doctor. Discuss what medications you are currently taking and be sure to follow his or her advice. In general, here is a list of common drugs that are safe during pregnancy.
What Indigestion And Heartburn Medicines Are Safe During Pregnancy
Progesterone is at it again, causing heartburn by affecting your smooth muscle cells and relaxing the sphincter between your stomach and esophagus so acid comes up. For relief, you can start with Tums, but if reflux is significant, you might benefit from medications like Prilosec talk to your doctor for more safety information.
You also can eat smaller and more frequent meals, stop noshing two to three hours before you hit the sack, and steer clear of rich, fried, or spicy foods, which often trigger stomach irritation. Sleeping on an incline can also prevent the contents of your stomach from splashing into your esophagus, causing heartburn.
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Which Medicines Are Safe
You can find out information on medicines in pregnancy on the bumps website.
They also have advice on what to do if you have already taken a medicine in pregnancy.
But it’s also important to never stop taking a medicine that’s been prescribed to keep you healthy without first checking with your doctor.
Stopping taking your medicine could be harmful to both you and your baby.
If you’re trying for a baby or are already pregnant, it’s important to always:
- check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist before taking any prescribed medicines or medicines that you have bought
- make sure your doctor, dentist or another healthcare professional knows you’re pregnant before they prescribe anything or give you treatment
- talk to your doctor immediately if you take regular medicine, ideally before you start trying for a baby or as soon as you find out you’re pregnant
What Is Flu In Pregnancy
Influenza is a common respiratory infection that mostly occurs in winter. Its caused by a virus that easily travels from person to person. When someone with the flu coughs, sneezes or speaks, the virus spreads through the air and on surfaces.
Flu during pregnancy is more likely to cause severe illness than flu in nonpregnant people. Pregnant people who get the flu are also more likely to be hospitalized for treatment. If you’re pregnant and have the flu or flu-like symptoms, see your healthcare provider.
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How To Save On Prescription Medications
Whether you are insured or uninsured, pregnancy and birth can be expensive. If you take prescription drugs or have been newly prescribed a medication, ScriptSave WellRx can help you find the best cash prices.
Simply type your prescription into our easy-to-use price comparison search and well show you the lowest cash prices at local pharmacies. You can also easily find savings on the go using the ScriptSave WellRx mobile app. and search for the best prescription prices anywhere, at any time. For even more features, like our virtual medicine chest and grocery guidance tool, create a free ScriptSave WellRx account!
Flu Vaccination During Pregnancy
The flu jab will protect both you and your baby.
Pregnant women have a much higher chance of developing complications if they get flu, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy. One of the most common complications of flu is bronchitis, a chest infection that can become serious and develop into pneumonia. Other complications are not common, but include:
- middle ear infection
- blood infection that causes a severe drop in blood pressure
- infection of the brain and spinal cord
- inflammation of the brain
- Inflammation of the heart muscle
Women who have had the flu vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first 6 months of their lives.
The vaccine also poses no risk to women who are breastfeeding, or to their babies.
The flu vaccine is free for pregnant women as part of the National Immunisation Program.
Read more about what vaccinations are safe during pregnancy.
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