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Which Allergy Medication Is Safe During Pregnancy

Common Causes Of Hay Fever

Which antiallergy medicines are safe in first trimester? – Dr. Sunita Pawar Shekokar

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.

Why Are My Allergies Worse During Pregnancy

Inflammation is one of the potential causes of pregnancy rhinitis, often known as nasal congestion and a runny nose when pregnant. Even while hormone production, not allergens, is the root cause of pregnant rhinitis, the illness has the potential to exacerbate the symptoms of seasonal allergies that were present before pregnancy.

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 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.

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Shelve Certain Allergy Medications For Now

Certain oral decongestants are associated with an increased risk of birth defects. These are medications taken by mouth that relieve congestion. Avoid antihistamines that are combined with a decongestant. You can recognize those because they often have a D for decongestant after the name, like Claritin-D.

Nasal sprays, as prescribed or recommended by a doctor, are medications applied in the nose. That means their effects dont go throughout the body like oral medications. Its still recommended that pregnant people avoid nasal spray decongestants. There isnt enough evidence to show whether theyre safe.

If youve been considering starting allergy shots, put them off until after your baby is born. If you were already taking allergy shots when you became pregnant, you can continue.

Keep taking allergic asthma medication if you were prescribed it. Uncontrolled asthma can cause serious health issues during pregnancy.

What Are Some Alternatives For Treating Allergies While Pregnant

What medications are safe to take during pregnancy?

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.

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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.

Drug Safety During Pregnancy

The Food and Drug Administration does not consider any drug completely safe during pregnancy. This is because of the ethical problems with testing drugs in pregnant women.

Instead, the FDA has created pregnancy registries. These are studies that help doctors understand how safe certain drugs might be. They contain information that doctors have gained while observing pregnant patients who take medications. You and your doctor can use this information to decide if a drug is right for you.

It is your doctor’s responsibility to talk to you about drug risks and benefits. This includes continuing, stopping, or starting a medication while pregnant. Every person is different, so the decision is always based on individual needs.

Every pregnancy is different. Talk to your doctor about medication risks and benefits and how they might apply to you.

Drugs used to be put into categories labeled A, B, C, D, and X. For example, low-risk drugs were in category A those proven harmful were in category X. Today, a new prescription labeling system has replaced the old one. These new labels provide more detailed information about the risks to mothers, fetuses, and breastfeeding babies.

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How Can I Treat My Allergies During Pregnancy

There are a number of ways to effectively treat allergies during pregnancy. Basic Prenatal by Thorne Research are an excellent way to combat allergies and keep your immune system strong. Additionally, many over-the-counter and prescription medications are also safe for pregnant women suffering from allergies. However, it is always best to speak with your doctor before taking any medication, even if it is over-the-counter. Some of the most common allergy medications that are safe to take during pregnancy include:

  • Antihistamines. These can be taken orally or topically and can help relieve symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, and itching.
  • These can help to relieve nasal congestion and pressure. However, some decongestants should not be taken during pregnancy, so it is important to speak with your doctor before taking them.
  • Nasal sprays. These can help to relieve congestion and may be used in conjunction with other medications.

Air Purifiers Humidifiers And More

Re: What kind of allergy medication is safe for a pregnant woman to take?

Some of the safest and most effective ways to manage your allergy symptoms dont require taking medication at all. You may find relief from your symptoms by improving the air quality in your home with a humidifier or an air purifier. Heres how:

  • Air purifiers, especially those equipped with HEPA filters, are designed to trap airborne allergens and other particles, cleaning up the air in your home in the process.

    In addition to using a standalone air purifier, you can also install a HEPA filter in your homes HVAC system.

  • If your nose is stuffy and irritated, adding moisture to the air in your home with a humidifier may help.

    Humidifiers work by turning water into steam and increasing the humidity in the air. When youre having trouble breathing comfortably due to allergy symptoms, plugging a humidifier in and pairing it with an air purifier can make a big difference.

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Do Allergies Get Worse During Pregnancy

It depends on the woman and the severity of allergies during pregnancy. About one-third of moms-to-be find their allergy symptoms tend to worsen during pregnancy. Another one-third find their allergy symptoms stay the same. And another one-third find their allergy symptoms actually improve during pregnancy.

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!

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Are There Any Other Precautions That Pregnant Women Need To Take When It Comes To Allergies And Medications

Yes, there are a few other precautions that pregnant women need to take when it comes to allergies and medications. First, it is important to speak with your doctor before taking any medication, even if it is over-the-counter. Additionally, you should avoid self-medicating as much as possible. Finally, you should make sure to keep your doctor up-to-date on your symptoms and how you are managing them.

Can You Get Allergy Shots During Pregnancy

Is Allegra Allergy Safe 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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Safe Constipation Remedies During Pregnancy

  • Metamucil, Citracel, Fibercon, Benefiber
  • Stool softeners colace ,1 tablet 2-3 times a day, pericolace ,1 tablet 1-3 times a day
  • Laxatives such as Milk of Magnesia, Correctal, Fleets enema and Miralax
  • Imodium liquid or capsules for diarrhea
  • Psyllium, which is the basic ingredient in Konsyl and Metamucil

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.

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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.

Show Sources

Where Can I Learn More About Safe Medicines During Pregnancy

Treating Allergies During Pregnancy and Beyond

If you have a question about the safety of any medication during pregnancy, talk with your healthcare provider.

An excellent online resource for evidence-based information on medication safety is the MotherToBaby website, a service of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists. This is a professional scientific organization of experts who study teratogens, which are chemicals or substances in the environment that can cause birth defects. The website provides fact sheets on drugs and exposures that might affect your baby as well as a list of teratogen information services that you can contact for more information.

Learn more:

BabyCenter’s editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you’re seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.

Briggs G, et al. 2008. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation, 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

MotherToBaby. 2020. Acetaminophen.

MotherToBaby. 2019. Chlorpheniramine.

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Can Allergies Get Worse When Pregnant

During pregnancy, allergy symptoms can become more severe for around one-third of women who are expecting mothers. Another one-third of people report that their allergy symptoms do not change. And still another one-third of people report that their allergy problems go better while they are pregnant.

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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Are Nasal Sprays Safe For Pregnant Women

If your allergies are causing lots of nasal congestion, sneezing, and buildup of mucus, intranasal steroid sprays are some of the best treatment options to try. These sprays typically contain a combination of medication and a saline solution, and most are available without a prescription.

Certain nasal sprays are safe to use while pregnant as long as you stick with the recommended dosage each time you use one. In addition, you can get the benefits of a nasal spray without the medication by using a neti pot.

Neti pots contain the same type of saltwater solution that nasal sprays do, but they arent medicated. A neti pot is a great home remedy for allergies to turn to while pregnant or any other time.

Medications For Seasonal Allergies During Pregnancy

The Best Allergy Medicine Reviews of 2017
  • diphenhydramine

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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What Medicines Can I Take For Allergies During Pregnancy

Women should be very cautious when taking medications during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.

Its important to talk with a doctor before using allergy medicine while pregnant. Work together to find an appropriate balance for the medication and symptom control.

Your doctor may first recommend ways to reduce symptoms that dont involve medications. Strategies include allergy proofing your home, avoiding allergy triggers, or using a saline nasal spray, nasal irrigation or nasal strips.

  • Oral antihistamines treat nasal and eye allergy symptoms of allergic rhinitis. It is best to take them after the first trimester.
  • Loratadine and cetirizine are second-generation oral antihistamines. They are considered safe for pregnancy, according to multiple studies. They do not cause drowsiness unlike first-generation oral antihistamines .

Avoid using antihistamines combined with a decongestant during pregnancy. Research is ongoing on the impact of these medications to mom and baby.

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.

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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.


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