Can I Take OTC (Over the Counter) Medications If I'm Pregnant?

Can I Take OTC Medications If I’m Pregnant?

pregnantwomanrubbingherstomachWhile you’re pregnant, you want to ensure your baby is born safe and healthy. That includes seeing your obstetrician regularly, watching your diet, getting exercise, and making sure any medication you take is safe for your baby.

Which Cold Medicines Are Safe to Take While Pregnant?

Doctors have studied many different cold remedies that are deemed safe to take during pregnancy. These include:

  • Benadryl
  • Robitussin
  • Mucinex
  • Tylenol
  • Cough drops (both menthol and non-menthol)
  • Saline nasal drops

Make sure not to take any formulations of these medicines that are labeled SA for “sustained action” or “multi-symptom.”

Which Over-the-Counter Pain Medications are OK for Pregnant Women?

For headache or backache pain during pregnancy, doctors prefer you take Tylenol. Aspirin isn’t recommended, nor are NSAIDs like Aleve or ibuprofen such as Advil.

Is Tylenol Cold Safe During Pregnancy?

Tylenol Cold contains acetaminophen, dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant), and phenylephrine (a decongestant). Phenylephrine should be avoided. Your doctor may allow limited amounts of Tylenol Cold after the first trimester.

Can I Take NyQuil While Pregnant?

Doctors don’t recommend you take NyQuil during pregnancy due to its high alcohol content.

Which Drugs Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy?

It’s best to ask your doctor before taking any medication during pregnancy. Even herbal remedies and vitamins either haven’t 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 (Accutane) for cystic acne causes extreme birth defects
  • Methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis causes birth defects or miscarriage
  • Naproxen (Aleve), 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

Which Medicines Are OK to Take During Pregnancy?

There are many medications that are safe to use in moderation during pregnancy. Including:

  • Heartburn remedies like Tums, Mylanta, and others that contain calcium carbonates
  • Anti-diarrheal medications like Kaopectate; avoid those containing salicylates like Pepto Bismol
  • Prenatal vitamins
  • Antihistamines that contain diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and loratadine (Claritin)
  • Anti-Gas remedies such as Gas-X and Mylicon
  • Cough medicines that contain dextromethorphan (Mucinex and Robitussin)
  • Sleep aids like Tylenol PM, Unisom, Sominex, and Nytol

Is Robitussin DM Safe to Take During Pregnancy?

Robitussin DM is a cough remedy containing guaifenesin to loosen mucus and dextromethorphan, a medication to suppress coughing. Both ingredients are safe to use during pregnancy.

What Are Safe Cough Medicines to Take While Pregnant?

Ask your doctor before taking any cough remedies during your first trimester. Cough medicines and cough drops are generally regarded as safe during the second and third trimesters and include those containing dextromethorphan. Brand names are:

  • Mucinex
  • Robitussin
  • Vicks 44

Can You Use Vicks While Pregnant?

The active ingredients in Vicks VapoRub are menthol and camphor oils used as a cough suppressant. Vick 44 is a cough syrup that contains dextromethorphan. These medications have been deemed safe for use during pregnancy.

To get more information about which medications you should take while pregnant, make an appointment today Huey & Weprin Ob/Gyn in Englewood and Kettering, OH. We offer specialized, compassionate care combined with cutting-edge treatments in obstetrics and gynecology.

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