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Is It Safe To Take Allergy Medicine While Pregnant

Can Benadryl Harm A Pregnancy

Are allergy medications safe to take while trying to conceive?

While taking regular Benadryl is generally considered safe during pregnancy, Benadryl Allergy Plus Congestion isnt. Benadryl Allergy Plus Congestion contains phenylephrine, which is not considered safe for pregnant women, especially in the first trimester, because of its association with birth defects.

What Is The Best Allergy Medicine For Kids

The best allergy medicine for kids depends on your child’s 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 child’s 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.

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 child’s 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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How To Safely Treat Allergies During Pregnancy

While it would be best to avoid allergens that bother you, thats not always a possibility. Many pregnant women and their providers prefer to start with a non-pharmaceutical treatment plan whenever possible. Dr. Janelle Luk, medical director and co-founder of Generation Next Fertility in New York City, suggests an over-the-counter saline nasal spray.

Dr. Luk also recommends physical activity to reduce nasal inflammation. In addition, she says patients with a stuffy nose might be able to sleep better if they elevate the head of the bed by 30 to 45 degrees during sleep.

However, sometimes those non-pharmaceutical options just dont do the trick, and you need something stronger to ease your misery. In that case, there are several options that are safe to try.

For moderate to severe allergies, your physician may recommend a nonprescription corticosteroid spray or an oral antihistamine, Dr. Luk says. Some nasal spray options include Rhinocort Allergy, Flonase, and Nasonex.

For oral antihistamines, Staunton says she recommends Claritin or Zyrtec because of their good safety history. Both are rated pregnancy category B by the FDA. This means that controlled studies in animals have shown no adverse effects to the developing fetus.

Benadryl is considered fairly safe during pregnancy, according to the CDC. However, Benadryl Allergy Plus Congestion is not safe for pregnant women because it contains phenylephrine.

Mild And Severe Allergies

Allergy during Pregnancy

Mild allergies may respond well to lifestyle measures. If you need some extra help, the following OTC oral antihistamines are generally considered safe:

  • diphenhydramine
  • loratadine
  • cetirizine

If your allergies are more severe, your doctor may suggest taking an OTC corticosteroid spray at a low dose along with an oral antihistamine. Options include:

  • budesonide
  • fluticasone

You may also try the following lifestyle changes:

  • Avoid going outdoors or opening windows on high pollen days.
  • Take off clothing youve been wearing outdoors. Rinse off pollen from skin and hair with a quick shower.
  • Wear a mask while completing outdoor chores or enlist the help of someone else for tasks like mowing.
  • Rinse nasal passages with saline spray or a neti pot.

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Is It Safe To Skip Allergy Medication When Pregnant

As the saying goes, prevention is the best medicine. So, the best way is to stay away from the cause of them and take preventive measures. Of course, you cant control certain allergies such as pollen allergies. However, you can reduce its impact by wearing a mask. In other cases, you can take preventive measures to make your home allergy-proof.

It is always better to consult with your doctor. Depending on the severity of your symptoms your doctor will prescribe the medication you should take. If your symptoms are light, then your doctor may recommend alternative treatments.

Common Causes Of Hay Fever

You may feel the symptoms of hay fever at specific times of the year, when certain triggers, or allergens, are in the air. This is known as seasonal allergic rhinitis. The allergens might include pollens from trees, grasses, weeds, fungi or moulds. If you experience year-round symptoms known as perennial allergic rhinitis your triggers might include common household allergens such as dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander, fungi or moulds.

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Pain Or Headache Relief

Acetaminophen is the drug of choice for pain during pregnancy. Its widely used with very few documented adverse effects.

Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , on the other hand, should be avoided during pregnancy.

NSAIDs include:

  • ketoprofen
  • naproxen

If your pain is particularly severe after a surgery, for example your doctor may prescribe a short course of opioid pain relievers. When taken as directed, they may not affect fetal development.

That said, opioid use during pregnancy does carry the risk of withdrawal, called neonatal abstinence syndrome , after delivery.

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What Medications Can You Take While Pregnant?

Common allergens include pollen, pet dander, shellfish, and bee stings. For pregnant women, allergies during pregnancy are particularly common, even among individuals who have not suffered from long-term allergies in the past. In other words, you can sometimes develop new allergies during pregnancy.

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Can You Take Allergy Medications While Pregnant

When youre pregnant, you want to safeguard not only your health but also the health of your baby. So, if you wrestle with allergies, you may be wondering about the safety of your allergy medications. Heres what you need to know so that you and your doctor can create an effective allergy management plan for you.

Prescription Medications Youre Already Taking

Before pregnancy, you may already be taking prescription medications for thyroid issues, high blood pressure, or other conditions. Speak with your doctor about continuing these medications, especially if youre already pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the near future.

In many cases, you may safely take your medication during pregnancy. Sometimes you may need to either adjust dosages or switch to another medication thats considered safer for you and baby.

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Is Benadryl Safe During Pregnancy

Benadryl is considered to be safe during pregnancy. Doctors and nurses recommend this OTC medication to help relieve allergy symptoms, even while youre pregnant. Recent studies have found Benadryl to be safe. However, always remember that no medicine prescription or OTC is ever 100 percent safe during pregnancy.

Why Are My Allergies Worse During Pregnancy

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Inflammation can lead to pregnancy rhinitis, or nasal congestion and a runny nose during pregnancy. Although the cause of pregnancy rhinitis is related to hormone production and not allergens, this condition may make pre-existing seasonal allergy symptoms worse.15 2018 .

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Choosing An Allergy Medication

Once you know which medications are safe to take, youll have to figure out which one will work the best for you. If your allergies are chronic or environmental , you may want to find an antihistamine you can take every day, such as Claritin or Zyrtec.

Seasonal allergies can also be treated this way, but if your symptoms are very infrequent, Benadryl is a good, super-safe choice.

Benadryl can make you excessively drowsy, so be careful of when you take it; if youre not sure how it will affect you, dont take a dose before driving. If it makes you sleepy, save your dose for the evening hours, before bedtime.

If you suffer from sinus pain or pressure during allergies, one of the nasal steroid sprays can be a good option. Pregnant women often end up with excess nasal congestion anyway, thanks to an increase in fluid and blood volume ; a nasal steroid can help relieve some of these additional symptoms.

Medications For Seasonal Allergies During Pregnancy

  • diphenhydramine
  • loratadine

There are always risks when taking any medication during pregnancy. Women should talk with their doctors before taking allergy medicines to make sure they arent potentially harmful. While doctors consider many oral over-the-counter medications safe for seasonal allergies, using both oral and nasal spray decongestants isnt as studied or well-known. Use of nasal sprays may be safer than oral decongestants. Thats because nasal sprays arent as likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream. An example is oxymetazoline, an ingredient in brands like Afrin and Neo-Synephrine. Women should exercise caution when using nasal sprays for more than three days. This is because using decongestants for longer can make allergy symptoms worse by causing nasal swelling. Some women also get allergy shots. These are compounds of allergens that are injected as a means to desensitize a person to an allergen. If a woman becomes pregnant while she is in the course of her allergy shots, she can usually keep getting them. Pregnancy isnt a good time to start getting allergy shots. Its possible they can cause strong allergic reactions. Without knowing a womans reaction, its best to delay starting allergy shots until after giving birth.

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Drug Safety During Pregnancy

According to the Food and Drug Administration , no medicines are considered completely safe during pregnancy. This is because most medications have not been tested in pregnant women. Pregnant women are, naturally, reluctant to sign up for medication safety studies.

Therefore, the FDA has created pregnancy registries that help inform clinicians about the relative safety of specific medications. These registries contain observational information that doctors have gleaned from observing their patients taking medications during pregnancy.

Your doctor can use this information, along with informative prescription labeling, to help you decide whether a medication is right for you.

It is your doctor’s responsibility to talk to you about the risks and benefits of continuing, stopping, or starting a medication while pregnant. Because every woman is different, these risks and benefits must be gauged on an individual basis.

Every pregnancy is different. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of medications for you.

The newer prescription labeling system replaced the old system of putting drugs into categories labeled A, B, C, D, and X. Newer prescription labels provide more detailed information about the potential risks to expectant mothers, developing fetuses, and breastfeeding babies.

Allergy Medicine While Pregnant

Ask The Doctor with Dr. Rene Leon – Is it safe to take allergy medications during pregnancy?

Environmental allergens like cat dander, pollen fungus and dust are present all around us. Being sensitive to any of these allergens can lead to allergic reactions that can cause eye watering, sniffing and sneezing. During pregnancy, these allergic symptoms can become better or get worse. If this happens, then questions like “Is my baby going to be affected” or “Can I take allergy medicine while pregnant” can come into your mind.

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Does Allergy Affect Pregnancy

For allergy sufferers, the good news is that whether your seasonal allergy symptoms are mild or severe during pregnancy, the actual symptoms themselves likely wont affect your baby, says OB/Gyn Salena Zanotti, MD. But you may need to change up how youd normally treat those symptoms to limit any risks to your child.

Is It Safe To Take Allergy Medication While Pregnant

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Safe Otc Allergy Meds To Take During Pregnancy

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.

What About Immunotherapy

Booklet: Can You Take Allergy Medicine While Pregnant

If you’ve been getting these shots, it should be safe to continue them during pregnancy, as long as you’re not experiencing any negative side effects. But, if not, wait until after baby arrives to start it. That’s because its hard to tell how you might react to the shots.

According to a report in Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, the same guidelines apply to sublingual immunotherapy which involves taking tablets that dissolve under the tongue.

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What About Nasacort

You may have noticed that Nasacort , was left off Dr. Jones list of safe nasal steroids. It wasnt an oversight: its not recommended for use during pregnancy.

A 2018 review of intranasal steroid use during pregnancy published in the European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology found it to be the only spray associated with a higher risk of respiratory birth defects among those studied in the review.

Skip the Nasacort and choose one of the other recommended sprays if you need it.

Additionally, the steroid-free OTC nasal spray Astepro may be an option if your doctor gives their OK. The medication is approved to treat seasonal allergies and allergic rhinitis in people ages six and up and has not been shown to be harmful for pregnant people or their babies. However, there is only limited data available and some studies on animals have shown potential issues in offspring when exposed to very large doses.

What Is Hay Fever

Hay fever is a common condition that affects nearly 1 in every 5 people in Australia. Hay fever is also known as allergic rhinitis, and is often simply called ‘allergies’. Symptoms of hay fever include an itchy, runny or blocked nose, sneezing, and itchy or watery eyes.

Despite its name, hay fever is not necessarily triggered by hay and does not cause a fever.

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Alternatives To Allergy Medication

You might also find the following tools helpful to avoiding taking allergy medication while pregnant

-limiting exposure to triggers to your allergies 

-using an over the counter nasal saline spray to flush allergens

-using a nasal irrigation system like a Neti-Pot 

-getting physically active, which can reduce inflammation 

-using nasal strips for sleep, as well as elevating pillows

With many safe options for medications over the counter, prescriptions and remedies, you dont have to suffer from your seasonal allergies while pregnant! Subscribe to our newsletter for a free handy guide for medication usage for allergies to reference.

Is It Safer To Skip Allergy Medication Altogether When I’m Pregnant

How can I find out what kind of medications are safe to take during pregnancy?

If your symptoms aren’t 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 baby’s.

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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Which Drugs Are Safe Or Unsafe

Many women must continue taking medically necessary prescription drugs throughout their pregnancies, as failing to do so would endanger both mother and baby. But it’s smart to be concerned about the effects of medication on a growing fetus.

Different medications carry different risks. The importance of maternal comfort is also an important consideration. Allergies can make some women miserable, and medication may be needed so that allergy symptoms are not taking over their lives.

Can Pregnancy Make Allergies Better

Asthma and seasonal allergy symptoms may worsen, improve, or remain unchanged during pregnancy. We cant predict exactly how a pregnant womans body and hormonal changes alter how the immune system reacts to foreign substances. For example, pregnancy induces swelling of the nasal mucosa, the inner lining of the nose.15 2018 .

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How Much Benadryl Can A Pregnant Woman Take

When youre pregnant you can take the same dose of Benadryl as before pregnancy. For standard Benadryl, that means no more than 1 to 2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours for an adult. Some small, older studies suggested that taking Benadryl the first trimester of pregnancy could lead to a slightly higher risk of birth defects.

Herbals And Dietary Supplements

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During pregnancy, herbal remedies are used for nausea, respiratory symptoms, urinary tract infections, pain, and other nonspecific issues.40 However, there are few human data on the safety of herbal remedies in pregnancy. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 requires manufacturers to ensure the safety of supplements before marketing. However, there is no registration process with the FDA, which takes action only if a supplement is found to be unsafe after marketing.41 Herbals were not included in the NBDPS until the year 2000. According to a subanalysis of the NBDPS, 10.9% of women use herbals during pregnancy, most commonly peppermint, cranberry extract, herbal teas, ginger, chamomile, Echinacea, ginseng, raspberry leaf, and ephedra products.42

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How To Reduce Your Symptoms While Pregnant

Unfortunately, one of best ways to reduce allergy symptoms is to avoid your triggers, but thats often easier said than done. You cant just lock yourself inside your house during ragweed season! 

But there are a few alternative remedies for cutting down on your exposure to allergens, says Dr. Jones. You can:

  • Change your clothes after spending time outside or exposed to allergy triggers.
  • Run a humidifier to remove allergens and impurities from the air.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Use nasal saline irrigation.
  • Utilize air conditioning in your car and home instead of keeping the windows open.

Of course, if youre still struggling with your allergy symptoms, you should reach out for additional help. 

Don’t hesitate to chat with your physician or midwife regarding your symptoms and seek their expert advice what can be done, says Dr. Jones. 

What Kind Of Allergy Medicine Is Safe During Pregnancy

No allergy medicines are entirely safe during pregnancy. However, some of the common and the best allergy medicines during pregnancy with no known harm are oral antihistamines such as chlorpheniramine, cetirizine. Avoid consuming allergy drugs during your first trimester, as this is the phase when the foetus undergoes crucial development. However, always consult with your doctor before using. Below are some of the points one should bear in mind while taking allergy drugs:

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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.

Allergy Medications To Avoid

Is it OK to take Zyrtec everyday

While most antihistamines are safe to take during pregnancy, some other medications often used to treat allergy symptoms may not be. Expectant moms should be mindful of combination allergy formulas that include other ingredients unsafe for pregnant women, like aspirin or other NSAIDs, and some cough suppressants or expectorants. 

You should also take care to avoid allergy medications with decongestants like pseudoephedrine , says Dr. Jones, unless your physician or midwife has approved it. 

Although decongestants are unlikely to cause problems with the fetus, they can cause an increase in blood pressure in certain individuals, Dr. Jones explains. 

There is some research suggesting a slightly higher risk of birth defects associated with pseudoephedrine, although so far, those possible risks have only been identified during the first trimester.

That means Sudafed may be a limited-use option for women in their second and third trimesters who do not have any previous hypertension issues .

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What Medicines Can You Take During Pregnancy

It can be hard to know if a medicine is safe for your baby. Most medicines are not studied in pregnant women, because researchers worry about how the medicines might affect the baby. But some medicines have been taken for so long by so many women that doctors have a good idea of how safe they are. Talk to your doctor or midwife before you take any medicines.

In general, doctors say it is usually safe to take:

    • Acetaminophen for fever and pain.
    • Penicillin and some other antibiotics.
    • Some medicines for depression.
    • Some medicines for heart burn.

If you are planning a pregnancy, talk to your doctor or midwife about any medicines you are taking, including over-the-counter ones. Some of them may be safe during pregnancy. But others may not be safe. Your doctor or midwife may have you stop taking a medicine or may switch you to another one. Some medicines that aren’t safe in the first trimester may be safe to use later in the pregnancy.

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