Pregnancy-Safe Medications (Infographic)
Congratulations, you have a little one on the way! With pregnancy comes more caution with certain things and that includes medicine. Do you know medications are safe to take during your pregnancy?
Cara Acklin, Pharm.D, a pharmacist at the Franciscan ACO, shares her expertise and insight on what's safe for pregnant women and their developing babies.
How Do I Know If A Medicine Is Safe During Pregnancy?
Your medicine bottles have a lot of information on them, but few actually say whether they're safe to take during pregnancy and that includes both prescribed and over-the-counter medications.
Often times, during a woman's first OBGYN visit, you will receive a list of safe and unsafe medications to take during the pregnancy. If you do not receive this, ask your doctor.
Talking with your healthcare provider is the best thing to do before taking, or stopping, any kind of medication, as well as any herbal products or natural supplements. Doctors and pharmacists can help guide you toward the safest medicine.
What Medications Can I Safely Take While Pregnant?
According to the American Pregnancy Association, in most cases, there are different types of medications to address a particular problem. Your healthcare provider may switch the type of medication you are on to take care of your medical needs while lessening any risk to your baby.
Are There Safe Anti-Nausea Medications For Pregnancy?
Morning sickness is a common symptom of pregnancy and may get to the point where you need medication. Over-the-counter treatments include:
- Vitamin B6 often helps moms-to-be with mild to moderate nausea and is a first-line treatment for morning sickness, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
- Antihistamines such as doxylamine are also used to treat nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Doxylamine is available over the counter as a sleeping pill, so it could make you drowsy.
- Reflux medicines such as Zantac or Pepcid sometimes work if your nausea is triggered by stomach or intestinal problems.
Are There Safe Pain Medications During Pregnancy?
Over-the-counter painkillers come in two categories, based on their active ingredient:
- Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is considered safe during pregnancy. Well researched by scientists, acetaminophen is used primarily for headaches, fever, aches, pains and sore throat. Acetaminophen can be used during all three trimesters of pregnancy.
- Aspirin, which has salicylic acid as its active ingredient, should not be taken by expectant mothers because it can cause problems for both the mother and the fetus.
What Cold and Allergy Medications Can I Take While Pregnant?
Doctors suggest avoiding allergy triggers as much as possible when pregnant, especially things like mold, pollen and animal dander. However, if your allergies need treatment try home remedies like humidifiers and saline or salt water nasal spray.
- Over-the-counter medications like Claratin, Zyrtec and Alleroff.
- Intra-nasal steroid sprays like Nasonex or Flonase.
- Pseudoephdrine, a decongestant found in products like Sudafed, should be avoided during the first trimester, but are considered safe during second and third trimesters.
What Other Pregnancy-Safe Medications Can I Take?
The above medical problems are just a few that you may encounter during your pregnancy.
Additional problems and pregnancy-safe remedies include:
- Diphenhydramine, like Unisom SleepGels, are safe for sleep.
- Miconazole, like Monistat, is safe to use for yeast infections.
- Phenylephrine/mineral oil/petrolatum and Witch hazel are safe medications to remedy hemorrhoids during pregnancy.