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.
What Are Some Alternatives For Treating Allergies While Pregnant
Even though for the most part Benadryl and many over-the-counter allergy medicines are possibly safe during pregnancy, natural alternatives may be something to explore as well. Some women may try to take no medications unless absolutely necessary during pregnancy. Medical professionals might also recommend trying alternatives to medicine first. One non-medication option for allergies is the use of a neti pot. With a neti pot, individuals can clear allergens and irritants from their nasal passage. Its also called sinus irrigation. Other allergy prevention strategies can include avoiding triggers or wearing a mask when certain allergen levels are high, or air quality is low. Some pregnant women may opt to stay indoors on days when there are high levels of pollen for example.
Symptoms Of Allergies During Pregnancy
If you have an allergy like hay fever , you’ll likely experience the following symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Itchy eyes, skin and/or mouth
Hay fever often flares up at the start of spring and later in the summer or early fall. But it doesn’t always follow a predictable schedule, since it depends on the specific environmental allergens causing your sensitivity.
Other triggers like mold, dust and pet dander can cause allergic reactions at various times of the year.
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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 childs health care provider. Young children should be evaluated for other causes of allergy-like symptoms before being treated with common allergy medicines.
Does A Stuffy Nose During Pregnancy Mean I Have Allergies
Pregnant women often develop stuffy noses. Nasal congestion usually starts sometime in the second trimester causing mucus membranes to swell and soften. Your doctor may refer to this as pregnancy rhinitis.
Pregnancy rhinitis can make you as stuffed up as if you had a cold or an allergy. It can result in nosebleeds during pregnancy and/or post nasal drip that may make you cough or even gag at night.
The good news is that pregnancy rhinitis typically goes away soon after pregnancy ends.
How can you tell the difference between allergies and a bad case of pregnancy congestion? If you have allergies, youll most likely experience symptoms such as congestion, coughing, sneezing and itchy eyes. If noticeable itchiness and sneezing arent plaguing you, it could be hormone-related congestion of pregnancy. If youre not sure, talk to your doctor.
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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 healthcare providers have gleaned from observing their patients taking medications during pregnancy.
Your healthcare provider can use this information, along with informative prescription labeling, to help you decide whether a medication is right for you.
It is your healthcare provider’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 healthcare provider 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.
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.
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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.
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.
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From Cold And Cough To Hemorrhoid And Nausea We Break Down Safe Otc Medications To Take While Pregnant
Its the dead of winter and you cant sleep, because youre 7 months pregnant and your baby has decided to be nocturnal. You know you need sleep, because lack of good rest inhibits your immune system. This stresses you out, because your spouse has a nasty cold, and youd rather avoid it.
Your spouse is resting peacefully in the guest room because he has a plethora of over-the-counter medications at his disposal.
But not you. Youre pregnant, and your OTC medicine choices are extremely limited. So, you hope to stay healthy amid the stress and discomfort of pregnancy. Not to mention its cold and flu season.
Then, you realize. Your nose is running. Your sinuses feel clogged. Youre getting sick.
Your first instinct is to want to grab those great medications your spouse is taking. But you know you have to be careful.
In no time, youre miserable with symptoms of the common cold. Youre desperate for relief, but you know the safety of your baby is paramount.
Advanced Womens Healthcare is here to help with a comprehensive list of safe over-the-counter medications to take during pregnancy. Always consult your doctor for the best personalized choices for you.
Pregnant women: Dont forget to get your flu shot at AWH Dallas!
Can I Take Tylenol While Pregnant
Acetaminophen has long been considered one of the few drugs safe to take during pregnancy, but a 2016 study in the International Journal of Epidemiology found a link between acetaminophen and autism. While studies like this are scary, it doesnt mean women shouldnt take Tylenol. Its not a warning that women should stay completely clear of acetaminophen, says David Olson, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and physiology at the University of Alberta. As with all medications during pregnancy, women should take the lowest dose possible of for the shortest period of time.
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Safety Of Benadryl During Pregnancy
Youre not alone in seeking allergy relief while pregnant. Up to 15 percent of women in the United States report taking antihistamines like Benadryl while they were pregnant. Medical research shows that Benadryl is most likely safe for your growing baby.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that Benadryl is in a group of antihistamine drugs called H. This group has been tested by many research studies and found to be safe during pregnancy.
Other brand-name allergy meds in this family of antihistamines include Claritin and Zyrtec. Doxylamine, another H antihistamine commonly used to help with sleeplessness in pregnancy, is considered safe. You may know it by its brand name, Unisom.
Another kind of allergy antihistamine drug is called H. This kind has been tested by fewer medical studies and may not be safe during pregnancy. OTC antihistamines in this group include Pepcid, Zantac, and Tagamet these should only be used under the supervision of a doctor.
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.
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Allergies Vs Nasal Congestion During Pregnancy
Expectant noses are, unfortunately, stuffy noses. Nasal congestion usually starts sometime in the second trimester, as high levels of estrogen and progesterone increase blood flow throughout your body including in your nose causing mucus membranes to swell and soften. This can make you as stuffed up as if you had a cold or an allergy, resulting in nosebleeds during pregnancy and/or postnasal drip that may make you cough or even gag at night.
So how can you tell the difference between allergies and a bad case of pregnancy congestion? If you’re suffering from allergies, you’ll most likely experience the additional symptoms mentioned above along with the stuffiness and coughing. If noticeable itchiness and sneezing aren’t plaguing you, it could just be the hormone-related congestion of pregnancy. If you’re not sure, talk to your doctor.
Can I Take Advil While Pregnant
Youre having a babysubscribe to our Todays Parent Pregnancy by Week newsletter!Ibuprofen is metabolized in the mothers and babys kidneys and we worry about the baby going into renal failure, MacQuarrie says. We also worry that ibuprofen can close the ductus arteriosus, a blood vessel between the main pulmonary artery and the aorta thats only open in fetal circulation, and should only close after the baby is born.
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Avoid Certain Allergy Medications
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.
Can You Get Allergies During Pregnancy
Yes, you can get allergies while you’re pregnant, sometimes for the first time and certainly if you have a history of them. Allergies are very common in pregnancy, and not all women who experience them are long-term allergy sufferers. Many women with no known prior allergies only complain of their symptoms during pregnancy.
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Can I Take Cough Syrup While Pregnant
For a hacking cough, MacQuarrie says that syrups containing dextromethorphan can be taken as directed on the package if needed. Our general advice is the lowest dose possible for the shortest amount of time, she says. But she suggests first trying a lot of honey and water to suppress the cough reflex, which has been shown to be surprisingly effective.
Allergy Medications For Pregnancy And Children
Choosing the safest allergy relief medication can be overwhelming, especially if you’re pregnant or looking for the best allergy medicine for kids.
Here you’ll find answers to your questions about allergy pills and common allergy medicines, including if you can take allergy medications during pregnancy and which allergy medications are safe for children.
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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.
How Pregnancy Can Affect Allergies
If youve already noticed that youre more bothered by allergies, youre not alone. Studies suggest that allergy symptoms increase for 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women. But allergies are also unpredictable. Some women find no change while others say theyre less affected when pregnant, and still others develop allergies for the first time.
Though having allergies can be difficult for you, the allergies themselves dont seem to affect your baby directly. What you take for them, however, could pass to him or her in the womb. The problem is that it’s not entirely clear which drugs do this, making it hard to know whats truly safe, according to research in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Also, few studies have looked at the best ways to treat allergies in pregnant women.
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