Safe Medications During Pregnancy

In general there is a 3-5% chance of birth defects in pregnancy. We can never say with 100% certainty that medications are safe in pregnancy, however the following lists of medications have been widely used and have not been associated with an increased risk of birth defects or obstetrical complications. **Note asterisks for specific comments on medications.

Many medications have combinations of drugs. It is best to avoid medications if you do not need them. As always, make sure you are taking the medication you need to treat your symptoms.

A good resource for accurate information on medications during pregnancy is MothertoBaby.org.

Safe Medications

Pain Medications
Tylenol (aka Acetaminophen) **do not take more than 4 grams or 4,000mg in 24 hours
Icy Hot

Allergy
Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)
Claritin (Loratidine)
Allegra (Fexofenadine)
Zyrtec (Cetirazine)

Decongestant
Flonase or Afrin spray
Guaifenesin (Mucinex) – also expectorant for coughs (loosens mucous in lungs)
Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)  **avoid if you have high blood pressure

Cough Suppressant
Dextromethorphan (Delsym, Anything “DM”)
**Many liquid cough medicines contain alcohol and/or sugar. Avoid those with alcohol. If you are a diabetic, avoid those with sugar.

Heartburn
Tums, Mylanta, Rolaids, Maalox
Pepcid, Zantac, Tagamet (Famotidine, Ranitidine, Cimetidine)
Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid (Esomeprazole, Omperazole, Lansoprazole)

Constipation
Docusate sodium (Colace) – stool softener
Magnesium Oxide 250-500mg
Psillium (Metamucil) – fiber/ bulking agent
Miralax
Glycerine rectal suppository

Alternatives to medication

Pain
• Try a belly band for lumbar support (can be purchased at a drug store or on Amazon)
• Warm baths (do not let your body temperature rise above 102 degrees)
• Stretching
• Prenatal massage
• Icy hot
• Ice packs/ hot packs not directly on abdomen

Allergies/ Congestion
• Nasal saline rinse (Netti Pot, Neil-Med)
• Saline spray
• Humidifier while you sleep

Heartburn
• Eat small meals
• Do not lay down within 30 minutes of eating
• Avoid foods that worsen your heartburn
• Avoid drinking at bedtime

Constipation
• Increase water intake
• Exercise
• Increase fiber intake

Headache
** If you are past 20 weeks and have an unusual, severe headache that does not respond to rest or medications, or if it is “the worst headache of your life” call our office.
• Cold compress or ice
• Massage (neck and head)
• Hydration
• Caffeine (or if taking caffeine, try to avoid if it is a trigger)
• Magnesium Oxide 250mg