Pain Or Headache Relief
Acetaminophen is the drug of choice for pain during pregnancy. Its widely used with very few documented adverse effects.
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.
If I Have Allergies During Pregnancy Will The Baby Have Allergies
Allergy symptoms during pregnancy are not believed to have any impact on whether your baby develops allergies. Genetics, however, are a major factor in the development of allergies in children. If a child has a parent or a sibling with allergies, then they are at increased risk of getting allergies, too.
An expectant mothers diet during pregnancy may be a factor in whether a child develops allergic rhinitis, food allergies, asthma or eczema. One study found that expectant moms who ate plenty of food-based vitamin D reduced their childs risk of getting allergic rhinitis. Foods with a lot of vitamin D include dairy products, cereals, fish, eggs and mushrooms. Learn more about the allergic march.
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.
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Ways To Find Allergy Relief While Pregnant
Home » 5 Ways to Find Allergy Relief While Pregnant
Approximately a quarter of expectant mothers suffer from recurrent allergies or allergy symptoms while pregnant. If you find yourself a part of this group, dont worry! There are plenty of ways you can find allergy relief that is safe for you and your child:
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.
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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.
Safety Of Antihistamines During Pregnancy
Although pruritus is not a life-threatening medical condition, it can be extremely troublesome for pregnant women. Because of potential effects on the fetus, the treatment of pruritus in pregnancy requires prudent consideration. At one point, the physician will have to use the antihistamines and weigh the benefits against the teratogenic effects of the antihistamines. Physicians must decide whether to select an older, better-studied antihistamine, thought to be relatively safe during pregnancy, or a newer agent that has less adverse effect on quality of life but has a potential teratogenic effect.
Various recommendations and studies favor the use of first generation antihistamines for use during pregnancy. They point out that these antihistamines were in use for a longer period of time and were more widely used during pregnancy. More data are available about the various effects of the first generation antihistamines in pregnancy. Moreover a few of the second generation agents have been reported to be associated with an increased incidence of certain congenital malformations.
In 1993, the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Working Group on Asthma and Pregnancy recommended the first-generation agents chlorpheniramine and tripelennamine as the antihistamines of choice during pregnancy, based on duration of availability as well as reassuring animal and human data.
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Is It Safer To Skip Allergy Medication Altogether When I’m Pregnant
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.
Immunotherapy And Influenza Vaccine
Allergen immunotherapy is often effective for those patients in whom symptoms persist despite optimal environmental control and proper drug therapy. Allergen immunotherapy can be carefully continued during pregnancy in patients who are benefiting and not experiencing adverse reactions. Due to the greater risk of anaphylaxis with increasing doses of immunotherapy and a delay of several months before it becomes effective, it is generally recommended that this therapy not be started during pregnancy.
Patients receiving immunotherapy during pregnancy should be carefully evaluated. It may be appropriate to lower the dosage in order to further reduce the chance of an allergic reaction to the injections.
Influenza vaccine is recommended for all patients with moderate and severe asthma. There is no evidence of associated risk to the mother or fetus.
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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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Should Pregnant Women Take Allergy Medicines
Strangely, in many women, allergic symptoms disappear during their pregnancy, but that may not be true for all pregnant women. Now if you are pregnant and have an allergy, you are likely to wonder if you should avoid allergy medication. The answer would be yes, but there are ways to deal with it with or without antihistamines during pregnancy.
Can You Take Allergy Medicine While Pregnant
Brian Levine, MD, MS, is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology as well as in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
Seasonal allergies can be tricky to manage in the best of times, but when youre pregnant , staying on top of your allergy symptoms feels like a major effort.
You dont want to take anything that could harm your baby, but you also cant spend any more days walking around in an allergy-induced fog. What is safe to take for your allergies while pregnant and what isnt? Heres a breakdown of your options.
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Possible Contraindications And Adverse Interactions
Consult a healthcare provider if you are already on a medication and plan to take Benadryl as well. Sometimes ingredients in one medication might interact with another, causing it to change what each does in your body. To make sure there are no contraindications and adverse drug interactions between Benadryl and your medication, speak to a physician beforehand.
Another kind of adverse interaction can happen between medication like Benadryl and alcohol. Alcohol is not considered safe to consume while pregnant regardless of medication, but since drinking alcohol can also increase drowsiness and decrease alertness, it is especially important not to mix the two. Alcohol can worsen the side effects of Benadryl, causing you to take an even greater risk with your general safety.
Side Effects Of Benadryl
As with most medications, Benadryl does have side effects. Benadryl can cause a drop in blood pressure which can lead to symptoms like dizziness. If you are sitting or lying down, get up slowly so that you don’t suddenly feel dizzy and risk falling down.
Benadryl can also cause drowsiness. You should refrain from operating heavy machinery since drowsiness can affect your judgment. Avoid driving when youre taking Benadryl since it can impair your ability to function even if you do not feel drowsy.
These side effects should go away within a few days. If they are more severe or do not go away, you should talk to your pharmacist or your doctor, Wong says.
Taking two kinds of diphenhydramine medications at the same time can also increase the risk of side effects since you are increasing your dosage. Even if you take an oral form and a topical form, the extra dosage counts as well.
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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.
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.
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Safe Otc Allergy Meds To Take During Pregnancy
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.
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
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Allergy Medications To Avoid During Pregnancy
- Pseudoephedrine : While some studies found that pseudoephedrine is safe in pregnancy, there have been reports of an increase in abdominal wall defects in the babies of mothers who used the medication during pregnancy, according to the ACAAI.
- Phenylephrine and phenylpropanolamine: These decongestants are considered less desirable than taking pseudoephedrine, according to the ACAAI.
Safe Allergy Medicine While Pregnant Summary
When pregnant, what you take into your body is very important to reduce any complications.
While struggling with allergy symptoms may seem inevitable, ensure not to practice self-medication. Instead, reach out for help from a health practitioner like a pharmacist, midwife, or an OB/GYN, if you consider taking an allergy medicine while pregnant.
They would help evaluate the risk factors and benefits and the right drug based on your medical condition.
The doctor may prescribe an oral antihistamine for mild allergy symptoms like loratadine or cetirizine .
When the allergy symptoms are moderate or severe, your healthcare provider may recommend an oral antihistamine along with a nonprescription corticosteroid spray at the lowest effective dose.
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What If Nothing Works
The last line of defense for all allergy sufferers is allergen immunotherapy. This can be in the form of allergy shots or tablets that dissolve under the tongue. Immunotherapy has been shown to be effective in adults and older children, and particularly in preventing allergic asthma.7 While women may not start immunotherapy during pregnancy, you may be able to continue the treatment during pregnancy if your provider tells you it’s okay to do so. If you’ve tried other medications and they didn’t relieve your allergies, see your health care provider. They may refer you to a specialist for allergen immunotherapy.
Are Allergy Medications Safe For Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
The medicine you put in or on your body could impact your baby early on in the pregnancy and continue during breastfeeding. For those planning to get pregnant, speak with your doctor beforehand so you have ample time to stop the medication.
According to WebMD, many over the counter antihistamines and nasal sprays should be okay to take during pregnancy. These include Zyrtec, Benadryl, Allegra, Claritin, Nasalcrom, and Rhinocort .
Sprays, eye drops, or ear drops might be better during pregnancy because they tend to stay in one area of your body, unlike pills that are ingested and spread throughout.
WebMD states that the trimester of your pregnancy also matters, so dont think that if a particular medicine is okay in the 3rd trimester it must be okay in the 1st. Also, note that using decongestants could make birth defects more likely.
Remember: The things that go in your body might make themselves available to your baby, and because your baby is much smaller than you, it might affect them in a more significant way.
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Key Findings: Antihistamines And Birth Defects
Pregnant woman talking to her doctor about medication use.
In a new CDC study, researchers reviewed more than 50 published scientific articles to see if there was a risk of birth defects from using antihistamines, like allergy medication, during pregnancy. Researchers found the evidence to be generally reassuring: most antihistamines do not appear to be linked to birth defects. However, researchers need to study certain antihistamine medications further to determine if they increase the risk for birth defects. You can read the articles abstract hereexternal icon. Read more below for a summary of the findings from this article.
Can Allergy Medications Safely Be Used During Pregnancy
Antihistamines may be useful during pregnancy to treat the nasal and eye symptoms of seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, the itching of urticaria or eczema, and as an adjunct to the treatment of serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis . With the exception of life-threatening anaphylaxis, the benefits from their use must be weighed against any risk to the fetus. Because symptoms may be of such severity to affect maternal eating, sleeping or emotional well-being, and because uncontrolled rhinitis may pre-dispose to sinusitis or may worsen asthma, antihistamines may provide definite benefit during pregnancy.
Chlorpheniramine , and diphenhydramine have been used for many years during pregnancy with reassuring animal studies. Generally, chlorpheniramine would be the preferred choice, but a major drawback of these medications is drowsiness and performance impairment in some patients.. Two of the newer less sedating antihistamines loratadine , and cetirizine have reassuring animal and human study data and are currently recommended when indicated for use during pregnancy.
When women with asthma and allergies get pregnant, one-third find their asthma and allergies improved, one-third find they worsen and one-third remain unchanged.
Allergist James Sublett, MD
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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.