When Should You See An Allergist
- If your symptoms make it hard to breathe or are otherwise interfering with your quality of life
- If your allergies are causing chronic sinus infections
- If you have allergies during a large part of the year
- When your OTC allergy medication isn’t working or is causing intolerable side effects
- If you have symptoms that might be asthma-related, like wheezing or coughing
Supplement Use During Pregnancy
Discuss any supplements you take or plan to take during your pregnancy with your doctor.
While prenatal vitamins are recommended to support levels of essential vitamins and minerals, like folate, other supplements may pose risks to your baby. They may also interact with medications youre already taking.
Note that just because something is labeled all-natural doesnt always mean its safe. Supplements are by the FDA in the same way as prescription drugs. Approach them with caution and discuss using with your doctor before starting any.
Heartburn And Acid Reflux
OTC antacids containing alginic acid, aluminum, magnesium, and calcium are generally safe during pregnancy:
- aluminum hydroxide-magnesium hydroxide
- calcium carbonate
For severe heartburn, your doctor may suggest taking H2 blockers, such as:
- ranitidine . Ranitidine, brand name Zantac, is now marketed as Zantac 360, which contains a different active ingredient . Famotidine is in the same class as ranitidine and works the same way but has not been found to contain unacceptable levels of NDMA.
Lifestyle changes may also help take the edge off heartburn:
- Wear loose-fitting clothing that doesnt put pressure on your abdomen.
- Try keeping a food diary to help identify certain foods that may trigger your reflux.
- Wait three hours to lie down after meals. Avoid late meals right before bedtime.
- Sleep with your head elevated at night.
- Eat small meals throughout the day.
Speak with your doctor if your heartburn becomes severe. In rare cases, it may be a sign of HELLP syndrome. This is a serious pregnancy complication.
Recommended Reading: Is Claritin Good For Pet Allergies
How To Safely Take Your Medicine During Pregnancy
You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: Never take any medication, supplement or herbal remedy without checking with your health care provider first. A few more tips to keep in mind:
If you have questions about how or when to take a medication, always talk to your practitioner first.
Figuring out what’s safe and what’s not safe to take during pregnancy can be difficult. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone.
Lifestyle Steps That Make A Difference
Since avoiding exposure to allergens is always better than trying to treat the symptoms they cause, follow these tips as much as possible:
Reduce exposure to allergens outdoors
When the pollen count is high, limit your time outdoors, especially on windy days. If youre used to exercising outdoors, try classes at a gym or follow one on your computer. Being outdoors in the afternoon is often less of a problem than in the morning, when pollen counts are higher. Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes and a pollen mask can shield your nose and mouth.
Reduce exposure to allergens indoors
Keep pollen out by keeping windows closed. Use air conditioning, not a window fan that draws pollen inside.
Clean in a way that traps and removes allergens. A vacuum with a HEPA filter will capture very tiny particles. Damp dusting and damp mopping traps dust rather than spreading it around.
Encase pillows and mattresses in zippered cases to protect them from dust mites and other allergens. Wash the coverings in hot water 130 degrees or higher every week, along with sheets and pillowcases. Never hang linens and clothes outside to dry, where they could be a magnet for pollen traveling in a breeze.
If pet dander is a problem, be sure to keep your pets out of the bedroom. Close the air vents in your bedroom if you have forced-air or central heating or cooling so that particles cant travel through your house into your bedroom.
Also Check: Will Allergies Make You Tired
How Can I Manage My Hay Fever While Pregnant
It’s important you take special care with your medicines during pregnancy since some may affect your unborn baby.
One way to reduce your need for hay fever medicines, while keeping your baby safe, is to try to avoid any known triggers or allergens. This can be a challenge if you do not know what you are allergic to. Your doctor may refer you to an allergy clinic to help you find out whats causing your allergy symptoms.
There are allergy medicines that are safe for you to take while you are pregnant, including some – but not all – antihistamine tablets and syrups, eye drops and nasal sprays, including corticosteroids and decongestants.
Your pharmacist or doctor can advise you on what medicines you can take while pregnant to help with your hay fever symptoms while minimising the risk to your baby.
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.
Also Check: How To Make Allergies Go Away
Can You Take Antibiotics During Pregnancy
Antibiotics can be a literal lifesaver when they’re used to treat a bacterial infection. If your doctor prescribes you an antibiotic during pregnancy, it’s generally because the infection it’s treating is more dangerous than any potential side effects of taking the drug. If your doctor prescribes you an antibiotic, it will generally be in the penicillin or erythromycin family.
That said, antibiotics can also be overused when they’re not necessary, leading to antibiotic-resistant infections. A few things to remember:
Some research suggests that certain antibiotics may be linked to a higher risk of miscarriage and birth defects. This risk, however, is very low, and the illnesses the pregnant moms were being treated for could have been the cause for the miscarriages rather than the drugs themselves.
Remember that while it’s not wise to take antibiotics when they’re not warranted , they can be essential even lifesaving for your health and your baby’s. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics and you’re concerned, ask about the potential risks and benefits.
Main Findings From This Study
- Scientific research suggests that using most types of antihistamines during pregnancy is not linked to birth defects.
- Out of 54 studies examined, 9 studies showed potential links between certain antihistamines and certain birth defects. Researchers need to study these potential links further.
- Researchers found many studies on antihistamine medications typically used to treat allergies, asthma, or nausea and vomiting .
- Examples of H1-receptor antagonists include diphenhydramine , dimenhydrinate , loratadine , and cetirizine .
- Talk with your doctor if you are pregnant and you have taken any medicine or are thinking of taking any medicine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as dietary or herbal products.
- Pregnant women should not stop or start taking any type of medication that they need without first talking with a doctor.
- If you are planning a pregnancy and are using any medications, please talk to your doctor about which medications are necessary and should be continued.
Recommended Reading: Does A Gluten Allergy Cause A Rash
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 Children’s 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. Don’t use any medication regularly in pregnancy unless prescribed by a physician, advises Dr. Shirazian.
Which Drugs Are Safe Or Unsafe
Violetta Shamilova, PharmD, is a board-certified pharmacist and assistant professor at Touro College in New York.
You may need to keep taking prescription drugs during pregnancy. Stopping a medically necessary medication could endanger both you and your baby. Still, it’s smart to be concerned about how a drug might affect a growing fetus.
Different drugs carry different risks. Your comfort is also an important thing to consider. Allergies can be miserable, and medication can help keep allergy symptoms at bay.
This article looks at the safety and use of different allergy medications during pregnancy.
Recommended Reading: Can You Develop Seasonal Allergies
Can I Prevent Allergies
While people with allergies cannot prevent the condition, they can try to avoid or reduce exposure to allergens or triggers. Pollen is a common allergen in Australia, and can be hard to avoid, but to minimise your exposure you could try to:
- stay indoors where possible during pollen season, on windy days, or after thunderstorms
- avoid activities that expose you to pollen, such as mowing grass
- shower as soon as you can after youve been exposed to pollen
- switch your car air-conditioning setting to use re-circulated air when pollen levels are high
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.
Recommended Reading: Can Allergies Cause A Lump In Your Throat
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.
What If I Take Benadryl Before Realizing I’m Pregnant
If you took Benadryl without realizing you were pregnant, you dont need to worry. Over-the-counter medications such as Benadryl are considered safe and pose no risk to you or your baby.
However, if you have been taking it regularly and plan to continue regular use of it after finding out you are pregnant, you should talk to a pharmacist or doctor. Even though pregnant people should be cautious about medication, make sure to consult a physician before stopping or making any changes to how you take your regular medications.
Recommended Reading: Can You Drink After Taking Allergy Medicine
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.
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.
Recommended Reading: Can Allergies Cause Lung Irritation
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.
Should I Continue My Allergy Shots During Pregnancy
It is appropriate to continue allergy shots during pregnancy in women who are not having reactions to the shots, because they may lessen your allergic or asthma symptoms. There is no evidence that they have any influence on preventing allergies in the newborn. It is not generally recommended that allergy shots be started during pregnancy.
To summarize: It is extremely important to monitor closely any asthma or allergic problems during your pregnancy. In the vast majority of cases, you and your child can look forward to a good outcome, even if your asthma is severe, so long as you follow your doctorâs instructions carefully. At the very first signs of breathing difficulty, call your doctor.
Remember the danger of providing an inadequate supply of oxygen to your baby is a much greater risk than taking the commonly used asthma medications.
The best way to take control of your allergies and have a healthy pregnancy is to speak with an allergist.
This page was reviewed for accuracy 4/17/2018.
Also Check: Do Eyes Burn With Allergies
What Can Pregnant Women Take For Allergies
Allergies like allergic rhinitis, or whats commonly called hay fever, bring bothersome symptoms, like a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing and itching. If symptoms are severe, they can affect eating, sleeping or emotional well-being all important for a healthy pregnancy. They can also lay the groundwork for infected sinuses.
The reason for concern about taking allergy medication to relieve these symptoms during pregnancy is that information on which drugs cross the placenta is sketchy, as is detail on how they might negatively affect the baby. So, with the exception of treating life-threatening anaphylaxis, its important to weigh all benefits against any risks to your baby.
In fact, many experts say that it makes sense to double your efforts to avoid allergens and try non-drug steps to ease symptoms rather than rely on medications. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also advises women to talk to their doctor before taking any medication, even over-the-counter drugs. That being said, heres how to take stock of your medicine cabinet.
According to the American Family Physician report, there’s not enough information to say that pills and liquid decongestants are as safe as antihistamines during pregnancy. A few studies done on pseudoephedrine since 2000 have found an association between the drug and minor birth defects, including some in the abdominal wall, enough to raise concern even if the research isnt completely conclusive.
Herbals And Dietary Supplements
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
Also Check: Will Baby Grow Out Of Milk Allergy