What To Take For Allergies When Pregnant

Is It Safe To Take Allergy Medicine While Pregnant

Seasonal Allergies in Pregnant Women

Chapel Hill Obstetrics & GynecologyAll Articles, Pregnancy

As if you didnt have enough on your mind.

Not only are you managing the challenging time of pregnancy , but allergy season is in full bloom. This means you can add watery eyes, sneezing, a runny nose and other symptoms to your already crowded plate.

But before you grab your regular remedy, you have to carefully determine if allergy medicine is safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

While it is safe to take certain allergy medicines while pregnant, you must carefully read labelsnot all over-the-counter medicines are appropriate to use.

If you have seasonal or chronic allergies, we want to know about it so we can help you find treatment that is both safe and effective, so you can take allergy medicines while pregnant said Dr. Carrie Miller. Were interested not just in your obstetrical health, but your overall physical health as well. You should use caution when taking any allergy medicine while youre pregnant or breastfeeding. We know there are a lot of allergy medicines to choose fromand it can be somewhat overwhelmingbut just remember that we are here to answer any questions you have. Just call us and well find a solution that is safe for both you and baby.

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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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Is It Safe To Take Benadryl During Pregnancy

When youre suffering from an allergic reaction, you want to take something to help relieve the symptoms. Pregnant people have used Benadryl routinely and safely as an antihistamine to block the effects of allergic reactions.

Benadryl is generally safe to take during pregnancy. It is classified as a Category B medication by the Food and Drug Administration . This classification means the drug is believed to pose no risk to people taking the medication during pregnancy, and no risk to the baby as well.

However, it doesnt mean that its completely risk-free. There are no controlled studies to show its definitely safe in pregnancy, says Dr. Taraneh Shirazian, an OB-GYN at NYU Langone Health and founder of Saving Mothers.

Pregnant people still need to be cautious when taking the drug. Healthcare professionals advise to take Benadryl only when you need it for allergies since no medication is 100% safe to use during pregnancy, says Clinical Pharmacist Jerry Wong, PharmD, who has worked at Texas Childrens Hospital and Houston Methodist Hospital. Benadryl should be used in the lowest effective dose for the shortest time possible, he cautions.

If your allergies are ongoing and you need relief beyond the occasional dose, speak to your physician. Dont use any medication regularly in pregnancy unless prescribed by a physician, advises Dr. Shirazian.

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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.

What Is A Sinus Infection

Can I Take Allergy Medications While Pregnant?  Maryland State Doulas

Sinus infections are a type of infection that occurs when the nasal cavities become inflamed, swollen, and infected. While viruses are the most common cause of sinusitis, sinus infection causes also include bacteria and fungi.

Sinusitis is classified based on its duration and cause. The two types of sinus infection include:

  • Acute sinusitis is a temporary inflammation of the sinuses, and most often follows a cold or allergies. With a compromised immune system, women may develop new allergies and get sick more often during pregnancy. During a bout of acute sinusitis, swelling blocks the sinus openings and prevents normal mucus drainage. This causes mucus and pressure to build up. Symptoms usually worsen, then peak and disappear.
  • Chronic sinusitis occurs when the symptoms of sinusitis last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Unlike acute sinusitis, symptoms may come and go and vary in intensity. Continued symptoms will strain the immune system, which is important to avoid if youre pregnant and the immune system is weak as it is.

A combination of antibiotics, antihistamines, and decongestants is used to fight chronic sinusitis, although many of these medications may not be safe if you are pregnant. According to Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, M.D. at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, pregnant women should avoid taking unnecessary drugs during pregnancy.

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Testing For Allergies During Pregnancy

Skin testing is usually the go-to for doctors to test for allergies, but they dont typically do it when youre pregnant because of the theoretical risk for an allergic reaction, Kleva says. Instead, your doctor will give you a blood test, which Kleva says is almost as good as a skin test. If youre struggling with shortness of breath or asthma symptoms, your doctor may also recommend a breathing test called spirometry or pulmonary function tests , Parikh says.

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What Is The Best Allergy Medicine For Babies Under 2

Although nasal symptoms, such as a runny nose, may exist in babies under age 2, allergic rhinitis is uncommon in this group since they have not yet had repeated exposure to inhaled allergens. Before you look for an allergy medicine for a 1-year-old or a 2-year-old, call your childs health care provider. Young children should be evaluated for other causes of allergy-like symptoms before being treated with common allergy medicines.

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What Pregnant Women Can Do

Pregnant women have many options forcontrolling allergy symptoms. The first step is to be proactive. Ideally, if awoman typically suffers from seasonal allergies, she should talk to her doctorabout starting a medication before symptoms begin. If she notices seasonalallergy symptoms for the first time during pregnancy, she should visit her doctorto determine the cause and manage symptoms, which can reduce the risk of asinus infection.

What Allergy Medications Are Safe

Treating Allergies During Pregnancy and Beyond

Thankfully, there are more allergy medications that are safe to take than ones that arent, so you dont have to suffer with miserable allergy symptoms just because youre pregnant. Many over-the-counter antihistamine medications and nasal steroid sprays are safe to take in pregnancy, says OBGYN Danielle Jones, MD, of Mama Doctor Jones.

Most allergy medications listed above will have relatively little effect on the pregnancy and contain the same risk and benefit profile for the person taking it as if they were not pregnant, says Dr. Jones.

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Will Taking Benadryl Cause Birth Defects

The U.S. FDA classifies Benadryl as a Category B medication during pregnancy. Category B medications are ones that are believed to pose no risk to humans during pregnancy, including the fetus. It is important to realize that no medication is ever 100 percent safe. Benadryl isnt a Category A medicine. Category A medicines are the ones that are considered the safest during pregnancy with no known adverse reactions. While its unlikely Benadryl would cause birth defects, always consult a physician first. There are some instances where the use of Benadryl or diphenhydramine in the first trimester has been linked to an increased risk of a baby being born with a cleft lip or palate, although this risk is very low. Along with trying to avoid Benadryl during the first trimester, its also best to use allergy medications as minimally as possible during pregnancy.

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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.Trusted SourceFood & Drug AdministrationTamifluSee All Sources
  • Acetaminophen. If youre running a fever or suffering from nasty body aches or headaches, its 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 theyre 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 youre 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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Treating Asthma During Pregnancy

Asthma and other conditions that affect your breathing can harm your baby. If you are not getting enough oxygen, your baby is not getting enough oxygen either.

This means you cant leave your asthma untreated.

Weigh Your Options

Most inhalers are entirely safe for use when pregnant, so if you need medication to control your asthma, using inhalers is a great option.

If you can get by without pills, it is best to stop taking them because of the risks. But if you need them to control your asthma, then you have to carry on taking them.

Always check with your doctor before stopping a medication you regularly took before getting pregnant.

Editors Note:

Allergies can go either way when youre pregnant.

A third of women with allergies experience relief from their symptoms during pregnancy.

Unfortunately, one-fifth to a quarter of women experience allergies during pregnancy. And of those with allergies, one-third will experience worse symptoms than usual.

Because of how pregnancy affects your body, you may feel as though your allergy symptoms are worse. Symptoms may also feel worse because they are combined with pregnancy symptoms.

Safe Otc Allergy Meds To Take During Pregnancy

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These over-the-counter allergy meds have no known harmful effects during pregnancy when you take them according to the package directions.

Note: Do not take the ‘D’ forms of these medications in your first trimester.

Check with your doctor before taking any medicines during your pregnancy. Be especially cautious in the first trimester, a crucial time for your baby’s development.

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Can I Take Sudafed While Pregnant

Pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are available over the counter as Sudafed and are safe for many women to use during pregnancy. However, women who have high blood pressure should not take pseudoephedrine without first talking to a doctor. The drug can raise blood pressure and can cause jitters and racing heartbeats.

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Will Claritin Dry Up Breast Milk

Yes, Claritin can dry up a persons milk supply, if they take it alongside a decongestant such as pseudoephedrine.

Claritin can also into the milk, so a person should exercise caution if they take loratadine while nursing. They should take low doses over short periods.

However, researchers consider Claritin safe, and it does not appear to cause adverse effects in infants.

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Avoid Certain Allergy Medicine While Pregnant

There are a number of medications that are not safe to take during pregnancy. First among them are oral decongestants.

Oral decongestants are best avoided altogether during the first trimester because of an uncertain risk of several rare birth defects, says Ciara Staunton, a family nurse practitioner and owner of Staunton Primary Care in Cincinnati. However, Sudafed , which is locked up behind the pharmacy counter, can be used in the second and third trimesters in women without hypertension.

But Staunton warns that Sudafed-PE , the over-the-counter option, should never be taken during pregnancy. It is less effective than pseudoephedrine. But more importantly, its safety for pregnant women is questionable.

Ms. Staunton also recommends against using any herbal therapies during pregnancy. In the United States and most other countries, herbal medicines are minimally regulated and not monitored for adverse events.

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Can I Use A Nasal Spray During Pregnancy

How to Treat Allergies While Pregnant

Some nasal sprays are safer than others. The good thing about nasal sprays is that the drug focuses primarily on the nose. It does not travel throughout the rest of the body.

Corticosteroid nasal sprays are mostly safe. They are prescribed to pregnant women with moderate to severe allergy symptoms that last longer than a few days. Budesonide is considered the safest. Mometasone and fluticasone are also considered safe.

Pregnant women should avoid antihistamine nasal sprays, as there is not enough research to prove their safety.

Always talk with your doctor about which nasal spray medication is right for you, as well as any medication risks to you and your baby.

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Is It Safer To Skip Allergy Medication Altogether When Im Pregnant

If your symptoms arent bad, your doctor may suggest other treatments instead. You could allergy-proof your home or rely on saline nasal sprays.

But if allergy symptoms are a big problem making it hard to sleep, for instance taking medication may be better for your health and your babys.

If you have allergic asthma, you need to take the medication as prescribed. Uncontrolled asthma can cause serious problems during pregnancy.

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What Is The Best Allergy Medicine For Kids

The best allergy medicine for kids depends on your childs age, symptoms, and other health conditions. If your child is diagnosed with allergic rhinitis, treatment can include nasal sprays, such as cromolyn sodium, or oral antihistamines, such as loratadine , fexofenadine or cetirizine for mild or episodic symptoms.3 Zyrtec has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for children older than 6 months of age. Claritin and Allegra have been approved for use in children age 2 and older. Zyrtec, Allegra and Claritin are available in a liquid syrup formulation that is specially dosed for children.

For children with severe allergy symptoms that are not relieved by oral medications, a steroidal nasal spray may be considered. Nasacort, Flonase and Nasonex have all been approved by the FDA for children over the age of 2 years. The dose is typically one spray per nostril, once daily. Nosebleeds are a common side effect of these nasal sprays but are usually nothing to worry about. Coating the insides of your childs nostrils with a saline gel, like Ayr, may help prevent this side effect.

If you are looking for an allergy medicine for a child of toddler age or older who is experiencing itchy eyes, consider topical allergy eye drops, such as olopatadine , for kids 3 years and older, or ketotifen , for children 2 years and older. These are antihistamine medications that can relieve itchy eyes due to allergens for up 12 hours.

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Allergy Medications While Pregnant

When it comes to taking allergy medications while pregnant, its right for a woman to be concerned about the baby. Women need to be very cautious about using any drugs during pregnancy and if at all possible, to avoid them completely in the first trimester. Most importantly, before taking any allergy drugs at any point during pregnancy, talk to your doctor.

Use of oral decongestants is associated with increased risk of birth defects. Some oral antihistamines, like Allegra , Benadryl , Chlor-Trimeton , Claritin , and Zyrtec appear to be safe after the first trimester, safe meaning they have caused no known harm in studies that have been done. Avoid antihistamines combined with a decongestant.

Nasal sprays, as prescribed or recommended by a doctor, are applied only in the nose. That means their effects do not go throughout the body like oral medications. However, avoid nasal spray decongestants. There is not enough evidence to indicate whether or not they are safe.

Dont start allergy shots during pregnancy. If women are already taking them when they become pregnant, they can continue.

The reality is, not taking any allergy medication is the best option. But for women whose allergy symptoms are leaving them sleepless and unable to function, taking medication with a doctors approval may be better for both them and the baby. Its important for women with allergic asthma to use their prescribed medication. Uncontrolled asthma can cause serious problems during pregnancy.

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