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Can You Take Allergy Medicine While Breastfeeding

When To See A Doctor

Is it safe to take over-the-counter allergy medication while nursing?

Most colds are mild and last between three and seven days. If your symptoms dont improve within this time span or worsen, make an appointment with your doctor. Sometimes, the common cold mimics other conditions or develops into a secondary infection. More serious symptoms to watch out for include wheezing, an earache, a severe cough, and facial pain. These symptoms may indicate one or more of the following conditions:

  • ear infection

What Allergy Medicine Can I Take While Breastfeeding

If you suffer from any form of allergy, you should pay attention to the medication you take as a nursing mother. It is essential to know from the beginning that the safest thing to do before you start any treatment is to talk to your doctor.

Let them know that you are breastfeeding, and they will recommend the best treatment. In general, how to treat allergic reaction while breastfeeding? Here are some over the counter medicines for allergy.

Home And Natural Cold Remedies

Theres no cure for the common cold, but medications can be effective and help you feel better. Drugs arent the only option for improving your symptoms. If youre not comfortable taking cold medicine while breast-feeding, some home and natural remedies might do the trick.

To relieve congestion naturally, make sure you drink plenty of liquids, such as:

  • warm broth
  • juice
  • water with lemon or honey

You can eat chicken soup to reduce congestion and mucus buildup. The warmth from the soup can ease a sore, scratchy throat. Mixing 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and gargling also soothes a sore throat, as does sucking on ice chips or sugar-free candy.

Its also important that you get plenty of rest while fighting a cold. This can be hard, and understandably, you might not be able to stop completely. But you should slow down and limit your level of activity. If youre well enough to exercise, reduce the intensity of your workouts. Rest can strengthen your immune system and help you recover faster.

Taking herbs and supplements such as vitamin C, echinacea, and zinc may shorten the duration of your cold, though the evidence for this is inconclusive at best. Speak with your doctor before treating a cold with alternative remedies.

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Most Common Method Of Ingestion

  • Pills/Capsules

  • Inhalers

Most discussions of allergy medication focus on antihistamines and decongestants.

I wanted to include ALL allergy medication types/options because theres a large population of lactating parents who need more intense allergy medications to get through their seasonal allergies. However, due to time and space, Ive decided to break this into two parts Part one that focuses on common allergy meds, and Part two, less common medications for allergies.

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Cough & Chest Congestion

Can You Take Allergy Pills While Breastfeeding?

Benzocaine : Numbing Agent. Temporarily relieves pain associated with itching, sore throat. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies or case reports in breastfeeding women. Due to its low oral absorption after application, maternal blood concentrations are probably too low to produce any significant clinical effects in the breastfed infant. Benzocaine cough drops or lozenges are an excellent choice for cough relief in breastfeeding mothers. Common trade names: Cepacol.

Menthol : Numbing Agent. Commonly used for topical analgesics and sore throat relief. Only minimal amounts of Menthol would be transferred into breast milk. Adverse effects to infants from breastfeeding are unlikely due to low relative dose and first-pass metabolism. There are no adequate and well controlled studies in breastfeeding women. Menthol cough drops, lozenges, and/or chest rub are an excellent choice for cough relief in breastfeeding mothers. Common trade names: Halls, Ricola, Ludens, Vicks

Guaifenesin : This is an expectorant used to loosen respiratory tract secretions. It does not suppress coughing. The poor efficacy of expectorants in general would suggest that they do not provide enough justification for use in breastfeeding mothers. However, untoward effects to the infants have not been described. Common trade names: Robitussin, Mucinex

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Will Breastfeeding Give My Baby Allergy Symptoms

It is impossible to transmit allergies through breast milk, so you dont have to worry about your baby catching allergy symptoms or developing an allergy to something youre allergic to because of breastfeeding.

Allergic reactions result from an overreactive immune response to something normally considered safe.

Even if your body thinks it can kill you, grass and ragweed arent poisonous and shouldnt produce that reaction.

Prescription Antibiotics & Steroids

Antibiotics prescription only: In general, it is safe to breastfeed while on a short course . These medications typically transfer into milk in acceptable amounts. Some infants can be sensitive to even small amounts in their GI tract, causing diarrhea. If age appropriate, probiotics or yogurt with live cultures can be used to minimize GI upset . Common names: penicillins, cephalosporins, azithromycin

Steroids prescription only: Short term courses of oral or injectable steroids are unlikely to affect breastfed infants. Doses used for respiratory infections do not require any interruption to breastfeeding. Common names: methylprednisolone , prednison, prednisolone, budesonide , triamcinolone

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Safe Cold Medicines While Breast

Pseudoephedrine and phenylephedrine are oral decongestants for treating nasal congestion caused by colds, allergies, and sinus infections. Both ingredients are common in over-the-counter medications and considered safe while breast-feeding. But although safe, these ingredients can affect breast-feeding.

You should also be aware of how decongestants can affect infants. Some infants arent bothered by traces of the medication in their milk supply, but decongestants can cause irritability and restlessness in infants. If you dont want to risk problems with your milk flow or cause restlessness in your baby, you can skip an oral treatment and relieve congestion with a nasal spray decongestant.

Allergy symptoms sometimes accompany a cold. Fortunately, antihistamines are also safe while breast-feeding. But some allergy medications cause drowsiness.

Antihistamines with the ingredients diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine may cause marked drowsiness and sluggishness. Breast-feeding while taking these medications can make your baby sleepy. You can avoid this side effect by choosing nondrowsy antihistamines, such as loratadine and fexofenadine . However, unlike other antihistamines, these will only help symptoms caused by allergies, not the runny nose that comes with a cold virus.

If youre dealing with a nagging cough, cough suppressants with the ingredient dextromethorphan are also safe to take while breast-feeding.

Cold And Allergy Medicine Safe For Breastfeeding

Safety of anti allergic medications when lactating – Dr. Varsha Shridhar

The following medicines are considered safe for nursing parents, but it’s always a good idea to check with a healthcare provider or pediatrician before taking any new medications. Some medications can reduce your milk supply.

Pain relievers and fever reducers that are safe to take while breastfeeding include:

  • Advil, Motrin

Allergy medicines and decongestants generally reduce symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose. Safe options to take while breastfeeding include:

  • Claritin : Claritin is safe to use based on supporting data but may have a negative effect on your milk supply when combined with a decongestant such as Sudafed .
  • Zyrtec : Zyrtec is safe in occasional, small doses, but in large doses, it can reduce milk supply.
  • Allegra Allergy : Allegra is safe in occasional, small doses, but it may have a negative effect on milk supply when combined with a decongestant such as Sudafed.
  • Mucinex : Mucinex is most likely safe in occasional small doses, but more studies are needed.
  • Afrin : This decongestant is sprayed into the nose and is not likely to enter the milk supply. Anyone taking this medicine should only use it for three days at most, because your body can become dependent on it. Oxymetazoline should be avoided if the infant has cardiac symptoms or high blood pressure.

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Allergy Medicine While Breastfeeding: Is It Safe To Take

It is pretty challenging to take allergy medicine while breastfeeding. For your safety and that of your infant, you must know which medications are safe to take and specific ones that suit your current condition.

That is why it is essential to always keep in touch with your doctor before taking an OTC allergy medicine.

This blog post will explain the details of allergy medicines while breastfeeding.

Like with other medications, it is vital to speak with a healthcare provider before taking any new allergy medicine while breastfeeding.

The allergy season can linger for a long while in the Midwest region. And these allergies can affect your ability to feel your best while caring for your baby.

While it is easy to walk up to a drug store or pharmacy and get any OTC allergy medicines, you may need to apply caution in treating your allergy symptoms while breastfeeding.

Some of the most common questions breastfeeding mothers ask include Which allergy medications are considered safe to take? and What medication will decrease my milk supply?

Many allergy medicines are considered safe for use while nursing and will not affect your breast milk supply.

Notwithstanding, it helps identify which allergy symptom you are trying to treat when you decide to take a medication.

Safe Cold Medicine While Breastfeeding

In general, pseudoephedrine, dextromethorphan, NSAID pain relievers, acetaminophen, and second-generation allergy medications such as Zyrtec and Claritin are considered safe options for treating cold symptoms while breastfeeding. Per Dr. Mello, these drugs typically dont pass through breast milk in high enough quantities to cause side effects in your baby.

She does advise breastfeeding moms to avoidfirst-generation allergy medications like Benadryl, however, as they can cause sedation in your baby.

Its also important to pay attention to more than just the active ingredients. Other ingredients often included in common cold medications, especially cough syrups may be harmful. Many preparations contain a combination of dextromethorphan and ethanol , and those preparations should be avoided in breastfeeding, says Hannah R. Fudin, Pharm.D., a clinical pharmacist with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Make sure tocheck the label of cough medications for alcohol before taking anything while breastfeeding while many dont include alcohol, there are still plenty of OTC medications, including cough syrups, that use it to increase the sedating effects of the medication.

What cold medicine can I take while breastfeeding?
Drug class
Contains camphor, which can be harmful to babies if transferred on skin or inhaled

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Unsafe Allergy Medications While Breastfeeding

Allergy medications that should be avoided while breastfeeding are those that are classified as first-generation antihistamines and medications that include decongestants. These medications include chlorpheniramine, brompheniramine, diphenhydramine, and pseudoephedrine.

The medications included in this category will pass into the breastmilk and have been shown to cause drowsiness, irritability, and colicky symptoms among breastfed babies. A single dose of medication such as pseudoephedrine can influence breast milk production.

The best way to look at these medications is to consider the effect they have when a person takes them. These are the same side effects that a baby could experience if the medicine is passed through the breast milk.

Remember to contact a health care provider or pediatrician for advice before taking any medications while breastfeeding. This will help minimize the risks of complications.

What Medicines Can I Take While I’m Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Facts: Can I Take Medications?

Medicines that can be taken while breastfeeding include:

  • the painkiller paracetamol you should check with a GP or your midwife before taking other types of painkillers, such as ibuprofen
  • vitamins

You can use some methods of contraception and some cold remedies, but not all.

Always check with a GP, your midwife, health visitor or a pharmacist, who can advise you.

It’s fine to have dental treatments, local anaesthetics, vaccinations and most operations.

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How Can I Reduce Asthma’s Impact On My Baby

Good asthma control is the key to a successful pregnancy. To lessen the impact of your condition on your unborn baby:

  • Have an asthma plan. Work with your asthma doctor to find the right kind and amount of medication for you to take.
  • Recognize your asthma triggers. Keep a diary of what makes your asthma worse, and find ways to avoid those triggers.
  • Receive coordinated care. Make sure your asthma doctor and your pregnancy provider coordinate your care.

Herbal & Nutritional Supplements

Zincnutritional supplement . Zinc can be used topically or ingested, and is usually not harmful when breastfeeding an older infant. However, doses of zinc in cold remedies can be in excess of what is safe. There is no accepted standard for what is too much, but the recommended daily allowance of zinc from all sources is 12 mg per day in a lactating woman. Doses of commonly marketed zinc supplements frequently range from 8-25 mg taken every 3-4 hours. Total daily zinc consumption can become easily excessive with these products. Zinc salts for cold treatment can have possible negative effects on breastfeeding infants during the first weeks of life. Thus, excessive zinc supplementation in breastfeeding mothers should be avoided for the first month postpartum. Topical application of zinc oxide is not absorbed, and is safe when breastfeeding. Common trade names: Galzin, Airborne, Orazinc, Zicam

Vitamin Cnutritional supplement . Vitamin C is often advertised for cold-fighting. Although its efficacy in treating colds has not been supported, it likely is not harmful to supplement while breastfeeding. Even high levels of maternal consumption resulted in only slightly increased levels in breastmilk.5 Common trade names: Airborne, Emergen-C, Cenolate, Celin, Cemill

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Effects On Lactation And Breastmilk

Antihistamines in relatively high doses given by injection can decrease basal serum prolactin in nonlactating women and in early postpartum women. However, suckling-induced prolactin secretion is not affected by antihistamine pretreatment of postpartum mothers. Whether lower oral doses of antihistamines have the same effect on serum prolactin or whether the effects on prolactin have any consequences on breastfeeding success have not been studied. The prolactin level in a mother with established lactation may not affect her ability to breastfeed.

Is It Safe For Mothers To Use Prescription Medications While Breastfeeding

What medications can I take while nursing?

Usually. A 2013 clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics , The Transfer of Drugs and Therapeutics into Human Breast Milk: An Update on Selected Topics,external icon indicates that most medications and immunizations are safe to use during lactation.

According to the AAP, health care providers should weigh the risks and benefits when prescribing medications to breastfeeding mothers by considering the following:

  • Need for the drug by the mother.
  • Potential effects of the drug on milk production.
  • Amount of the drug excreted into human milk.
  • Extent of oral absorption by the breastfeeding infant.
  • Potential adverse effects on the breastfeeding infant.
  • Age of the infant.
  • Proportion of feedings that are breast milk.

Review LactMed®external icon for the most up-to-date information available on medications and lactation when advising breastfeeding mothers on medication safety.

Note to Breastfeeding Mothers

Tell your health care provider and your babys provider about any medications or supplements you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, and over-the-counter products.

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Do I Have To Stop Breastfeeding If I Have Allergies

No. It is absolutely fine to breastfeed if you have allergies, even with topical symptoms like a rash or hives.

In some cases, it is confusing to tell if you have an allergy or a cold since the symptoms are often similar.

Even if you are symptomatic from a cold or flu, you can still breastfeed, and you dont need to wean.

Types Of Allergy Medications

Antihistamines: Stops the histamine response by directly blocking your body’s histamine receptors.

: Contracts blood vessels, thereby decreasing swelling and inflammation in the nasal passages.

Corticosteroids: Similar to decongestants, corticosteroids provide temporary relief, but rather than narrowing blood vessels, the easing of symptoms is due to the steroid’s synthetic substance similar to cortisol.

Mast Cell Stabilizers: Prevent the release of histamine by blocking cell degranulation and stabilizing mast cells.

Leukotriene inhibitors: relieves allergy symptoms by stoping the Leukotriene chemical thus blocking 5-lipoxygenase activity

Immunotherapy: Habituatlizes your body to the allergen by gradually increasing the dosage of exposure

Emergency epinephrine: reverses symptoms a life-threatening allergic reaction by constricting blood vessels and raising blood pressure.

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Can I Take Allergy Shots And The Flu Shot While Pregnant

Tell your allergist if youre pregnant. You shouldnt start allergy shots if youre pregnant. But if youre already getting them, your doctor will probably continue them and monitor you for any problems.

The flu vaccine is recommended for pregnant women and people with asthma because theyre among groups at high risk for severe flu complications, including death. Pregnant women should only get the flu shot .

Sore Itchy Throat And/or Cough

Breastfeeding Facts: Can I Take Medications?
  • Drink strong black tea .
  • Drink hot lemonade with honey. Or make a mixture of one part lemon juice and two parts honey. Sip throughout the day.
  • Drink fenugreek tea to relieve head and chest congestion and cough.
  • Use Zinc gluconate lozenges, but avoid taking large amounts of zinc for more than seven days, because it can interfere with other minerals in the body.
  • Salt water gargle:Mix a 1 tablespoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water. Gargle the whole mixture several times a day.
  • Apple-cider vinegar and water gargle.Mix 1-6 teaspoons vinegar in a glass of water you can mix it as strong as you can stand it. Gargle one mouthful . Repeat twice. Do this every hour, or as needed.
  • Slippery elm bark can help with sore throat and cough. It comes in herbal cough drops and throat lozenges , or you can make a tea. For tea, use 1 to 3 teaspoons of powdered bark per cup, boil and simmer 15 minutes. Up to 3 cups per day.
  • Chamomile tea gargle

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