Medicine Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
According to the Food and Drug Administration, there are approximately 6 million pregnancies in the United States each year and more than half of pregnant report taking at least one medication.
The reasons can be as simple as allergies or as complex as diabetes but its important to know that many people are in the same situation as you.
In consultation with your doctor, youll learn that some medicines are okay to take while pregnant or breastfeeding and others should be avoided. When in doubt, refrain from taking the medicine until you speak with your doctor.
You can also read the label of your medicine, look up the name of the specific drug/ingredients online, and report any possible problems to your doctor.
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:
Is Benadryl Safe To Take While Pregnant
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.
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What Is An Allergy
An allergy happens when a person’s reacts to substances known as allergens in the environment that are harmless to most people. These substances are found in many places such as dust mites, pets, pollen, insects, ticks, moulds, foods and some medications. Food allergies are a major source of complications leading to about 30,000 emergency room visits a year and 150-200 deaths.
Atopy, on the other hand, is the genetic tendency to develop allergic diseases. When atopic people are exposed to allergens they can develop an immune reaction that leads to allergic inflammation.
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.
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Springtime Allergy Meds For Pregnancy: Whats Safe
Sneezing, coughing and itchy eye allergy along with all the other not-so-pleasant signs of pregnancy. If youre already suffering from pregnancy congestion, you may feel like your symptoms have become unbearable with the addition of spring allergens.
Unfortunately, experiencing worse allergies during pregnancy is quite common. Luckily, there are allergy medications that are safe to use during pregnancy.
This guide will cover which medications are safe and unsafe during pregnancy, how you can prevent spring allergies and other natural remedies to relieve your symptoms.
Its important to note that before taking any allergy medication, you should consult your doctor. The information provided in this post is a general guideline. Your physician will be able to tell you what is safe and most effective for you and your pregnancy.
Mild And Severe Allergies
Mild allergies may respond well to lifestyle measures. If you need some extra help, the following OTC oral antihistamines are generally considered safe:
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:
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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How To Prevent Allergies During Pregnancy
Wondering what you can do for allergies during pregnancy besides taking medicine? In general, the best defense is a good offense. Try these tips to prevent or alleviate allergy symptoms while you’re expecting:
- Stay away from people who are smoking. Smoke can make allergies worse, and exposure to second-hand smoke during pregnancy isn’t good for you or your baby.
- If youre allergic to pollen: Try to stay inside where theres filtered, air-conditioned air. If you do go outside, try wearing wraparound sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes. When you come back inside, take off your shoes, wash your hands and face, and change clothes so the pollen doesn’t stay with you. Showering and washing your hair before you go to sleep can also help relieve nighttime symptoms.
- If youre allergic to dust: Heres your excuse to get someone else to do the cleaning for you! Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, a wet mop or a sweeper to avoid stirring up dust. A microfiber cloth is better than a traditional feather duster. Also try to stay away from attics, basements and other musty places.
- If youre allergic to pets: Let your dog- and cat-owning friends know of your allergy before you drop by, so they have time to make arrangements .
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.
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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 You Get Allergy Shots During Pregnancy
Allergy shots are considered safe for pregnant women, but only for those who had been on the receiving end for a while before conceiving. Most allergists say it’s not a good idea to start allergy shots during pregnancy, because they trigger changes in your already-fluctuating immune system and may cause unexpected reactions.
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Which Allergy Medications Are Safe During Pregnancy
Can you take Benadryl while pregnant? What about Claitan? Heres the scoop on whats safe for pregnancy, so you dont have to suffer from a stuffy nose and itchy eyes in silence!
While many women report that their allergies improve or disappear during pregnancy, some still experience symptoms. If you’re among them, you should know that there plenty of ways to relieve symptoms both with and without medication.
Your best defense against allergy symptoms is to avoid the triggers that cause them. Of course, you can’t control what happens outside, but you can reduce your exposure in your home by wearing a mask when you dust or vacuum, keeping pets out of your bedroom, and protecting your mattress and pillows with special covers to keep out dust mites. Using a dehumidifier to keep the air in your home under 50 percent humidity can also help fend off mites and mold.
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Its always best to avoid taking any type of medication during pregnancy, if possible. That said, if allergies or nasal congestion due to upper-respiratory infection are keeping you from sleeping, eating, or participating fully in your life, your doctor is likely to consider Claritin to help you cope with your symptoms. Rest assured that after years of research on animals and humans, Claritin has been classified as safe to use during pregnancy. Antihistamines like Chlor-Trimeton and Benadryl are also deemed safe for pregnant women to take.
Are Decongestants Safe During Pregnancy
Allergies plague many of us every year. In fact, one in five adults suffers from allergies. Allergens are often called hay fever, or Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis, and the most common symptoms are sneezing, stuffiness, a runny nose, and itchiness in the mouth, throat, eyes, or ears. Allergies often do not stop when women become pregnant the question of whether the use of decongestants is safe during pregnancy is often an unclear answer to many women suffering from allergies.
Over-the-counter decongestants are, for the most part, safe during pregnancy, physicians advise. Most decongestants do not contain enough medication to cause problems with baby, especially if used for short periods. Nasal spray decongestants are even safer, since the medication is almost entirely absorbed within the nose and does not travel through the body. As a general rule, physicians advise patients that if they can buy it without visiting the pharmacy counter, short term use will not harm the baby during pregnancy.
Many health care providers recommend using medication that is considered a Category B drug, such as the decongestant Sudafed® or the antihistamine Claritin® when allergies strike. Category B drugs have been shown through animal testing to not harm an unborn baby when the mother takes the medication during pregnancy. If a runny nose is more of a problem than a congested one, antihistamines such as Diphenhydramine, Loratadine or Cetirizine are all safe to take during pregnancy.
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Allergy Medication For Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
When it comes to allergy medication, were often curious about their long-term effects. In general, medicines can be applied to the skin, applied as drops, injected, inhaled, and ingested , and we use them because medicines assist our body in overcoming illness.
When we use medicine, we usually do so by accepting potential side-effects, however, the situation is much different when pregnant or breastfeeding. Pregnant mothers, as well as breastfeeding mothers, are eating for two. Does that mean they are taking medicine for two as well?
As someone whos had allergies most of their life, I can understand the need for those antihistamines, nasal sprays, and cortisone creams. For people who are pregnant, allergy symptoms can be fickle. The symptoms might disappear, stay the same, or they might increase.
If you feel you need antihistamines, its wise to ask your doctor if allergy medication is safe for pregnancy and/or breastfeeding.
In this article, well review some of the research regarding allergy medication, pregnancy, and breastfeeding and put you on the right track to know whats best for you and your baby.
Pregnant Mothers Could Experience An Increase Of Allergy Symptoms
Did you know that your allergies could worsen during pregnancy? They could also improve or stay the same. Youve got a 33% chance for each.
If you think youre becoming more sensitive to allergens youre not alone and its important to speak with your doctor about your options.
Depending on what youre allergic to, you should be able to make a few simple lifestyle adjustments to improve the way you feel. If you need to take medicine, your doctor will share the best medicines that wont impact your pregnancy.
Cheers to you if youre of the 33% of mothers whose allergies improve. Thats a welcome, yet surprising side-effect of pregnancy.
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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.
Allergy Medications Approved For Use During Pregnancy
When it comes to choosing allergy medications that are safe for use during pregnancy, you are looking for an ingredient not necessarily a name brand. The allergy medications considered safe for use during pregnancy include:
If you are unfamiliar with these allergy medication ingredients, take a look at the ingredient label of name brand allergy medications like Benadryl, Alavert and Claritin.
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What Allergy Medications Are Safe
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.
What Happens When You Have An Allergic Reaction
When a person who is allergic to a particular allergen comes into contact with it, an allergic reaction occurs:
- When the allergen enters the body, it triggers an antibody response.
- The antibodies attach themselves to mast cells.
- When the pollen comes into contact with the antibodies, the mast cells respond by releasing histamine.
- When the release of histamine is due to an allergen, the resulting inflammation is irritating and uncomfortable.
- Similar reactions can occur to some chemicals and food additives. However if they do not involve the immune system, they are known as adverse reactions, not allergy.
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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 doctors 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.
What About Pregnancy And Allergy
Women who suffer from allergies may find that:
Each individual’s response is different. Symptoms are not life-threatening but can interfere with a good night’s sleep and leave you feeling miserable. If you know what you’re allergic to and are pregnant, try to avoid that thing rather than taking lots of medications. It also helps to decrease exposure to cigarette smoke and other known environmental irritants. If this isn’t practical, however, keep in mind that some medications are safer to use than others while you are expecting.
It’s not unusual for women who did not previously have allergies to suffer from nasal congestion while pregnant, as the hormones of pregnancy can cause swelling of the nasal passages and increased mucus production. In these cases, symptoms typically are worst in the second trimester and resolve within a few days after childbirth.
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