What Medications Are Safe To Take During Pregnancy?

There are some medications that are safe to take during pregnancy, while there are many others that are not. Some are even more dangerous for a baby in the first three months. Before taking any medicine, you should speak with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you and your baby.

Prescription medications

When you first know that you are pregnant, you should talk to the doctor about the medications you are currently taking. They will be able to tell you if the medicine is no longer safe and try to provide an alternative.

In some situations, the risk of stopping a medication could be worse for both you and your baby. For example, urinary tract infections are dangerous during pregnancy if left untreated. They can cause you to get a kidney infection, which in turn could result in early labor and low birth weight.

Important tip: Remember to tell any healthcare provider you see that you are pregnant.

Over the counter medications

Prescription medications aren’t the only ones you will need to know about. The over-the-counter medications you are accustomed to taking for headaches, allergies, and other issues can also be dangerous, although many are considered safe. Here is a quick list of medicines that are generally considered to be safe for your baby, although you should talk to your doctor about them.

  • Tylenol or acetaminophen (Do not take anything with ibuprofen or aspirin)
  • Antacids (Zantac®, Pepcid AC®, etc…)
  • Guaifenesin (Robitussin)
  • Cough drops
  • Vicks VapoRub®
  • Benadryl tablets
  • Claritin, Zyrtec, or Allegra
  • Laxatives (non-stimulant such as Colace, Milk of Magnesia, and Senna are okay. Avoid Ex-lax)

GERD, Acid Reflux, Heartburn medications

Heartburn and acid reflux are common during pregnancy and can be uncomfortable. The condition is caused when the hormones produced during pregnancy cause muscles in the esophagus to relax. This can allow the fluids in the stomach to travel upwards, especially after a large meal or when you lay down.

Another reason you may have heartburn or acid reflux during pregnancy is that your baby is pushing on your stomach. This happens during the second and third trimesters.

GERD is a condition that comes with other issues, like trouble sleeping, difficulty swallowing, and constant heartburn. Speak with your doctor to ensure you do not have GERD and about the possible treatments that are safe for both you and your baby.

Eating small meals that are bland and sitting upright for at least 30 minutes after eating can help with these symptoms. Medications that are safe for GERD, acid reflux, and heartburn:

  • Gaviscon® (Occasionally)
  • Pepcid AC®
  • Maalox®
  • Mylanta®
  • Titralac®, Tums®
  • Zantac®

Medicines for the common cold

The common cold is not fun at ANY time, but especially during pregnancy when you may already be uncomfortable. Most colds are viral and do not require antibiotics. Before we discuss any medicines, it can be helpful to consider other methods of treating the symptoms. For example, cough drops and Vicks VapoRub®, while technically medicinal, can help you deal with things without taking harsher medicines like Robitussin. Also consider the following, to help with symptoms:

  • Chicken soup
  • A hot shower
  • A vaporizer
  • Saline nasal washes
  • Rest and relaxation
  • Saltwater rinse/gargle

With precautions, you can take some cold medicines safely. First, avoid cold medicine during the first trimester of your pregnancy. Once you are able to take cold medicines, look for those with the fewest ingredients. Do not take anything with Ibuprofen or aspirin. Also, never use herbal medications.

Cold medications that are usually safe to take:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)
  • Loratadine (Claritin)
  • Zinc lozenges
  • Chloraseptic spray

Nausea medications

For many women, nausea is just part of pregnancy. It is caused by the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone and is most common during early pregnancy, within the first thirteen weeks. For women who do not have severe morning sickness, nausea and vomiting should dissipate after that time. There are many natural and easy remedies for nausea, including changing your diet and lifestyle, avoiding stuffy rooms, and munching on ginger candies. If these and other remedies do not help, or if you experience severe nausea for longer than thirteen weeks, it’s time to talk to your doctor.

Safe medications for nausea:

  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Vitamin B6
  • Phenergan
  • Zofran
  • Metoclopromide

Insomnia medicines

There are many different sleep disorders that can affect women during pregnancy, but insomnia is one of the most common. The first steps for treating this condition are to make lifestyle changes. Many insomnia medications have not yet been approved for use during pregnancy, so trying others things first is important.

Before taking any medications for sleep disorders, prescription or not, you must speak with your doctor. This is because the risks to your baby are higher with these medications than with others. Unisom SleepGels® and Benadryl are the only two medications that are likely safe, but each situation is different.

The Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine

Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, can be deadly for babies. This is especially true during their first couple of months outside of the womb before they are able to get the Tdap vaccine. This is why it is important for women to get a Tdap vaccine in the third trimester of EVERY pregnancy. Be sure to talk to your doctor about pertussis and the Tdap vaccine if you are pregnant. The antibodies produced in pregnancy from the vaccine can give baby protection once he/she is born. It is also important to make sure all family members that plan to be around the baby are up to date on their Tdap vaccine as well.

Pregnancy care at Women’s Healthcare Associates

Whether you are pregnant for the first time or already know what to expect when expecting, the team at WHA is here to help! We are there for you through every step of your Pregnancy. Give us a call at (806) 355-6330 to schedule an appointment and learn more about our Services.

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Amarillo, TX 79106

Phone: (806) 355-6330

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© Women'Healthcare Associates 2017 - All rights reserved
Website design and marketing by UCI Digital