Medications in Pregnancy
We feel that any medication used in pregnancy should be avoided if at all possible. There are no guarantees that medications are safe to take in early pregnancy. Testing cannot be done on pregnant women, so the information we have is based on retrospective studies. Our purpose is to alleviate maternal symptoms and do no harm to the baby. The medications listed below have been used in pregnancy with limited or no known adverse effects to the baby.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, we recommend:
- Pain or Fever – Tylenol, Regular or Extra Strength – *Avoid Aspirin or Ibuprofen
- Congestion or Allergies – Sudafed, Actifed or Benadryl
- Cough – Robitussin or Triaminic without alcohol
- Heartburn – Tums, Maalox, Zantac and/or Tagamet HB
- Nausea – Vitamin B6 100mg every 12 hours, Ginger Capsules, Ginger or Peppermint Tea
- Constipation – Colace, Surfac, Metamucil
- Diarrhea – Kaopectate, Immodium
If there is medication NOT on this list that is NOT prescribed to you by our office, please call so that we can check the safety of its use in pregnancy. Thank you.
*Please be aware that many over-the-counter medications can contain aspirin.
Traveling During Pregnancy
Please be aware that there are risks when traveling during pregnancy. Check with your physician, especially if you will be traveling out of the country.
We have compiled the following helpful tips for traveling during your pregnancy.
- Frequent rest stops and breaks are advised if traveling long distances
- Periodic standing or walking is encouraged. If unable to do so, stretching your legs and feet will decrease the amount of swelling in your feet and ankles.
- Wear comfortable shoes and loose fitting clothing
- Carry some light snacks to help prevent nausea
- Drink plenty of water
- Traveling late in pregnancy is discouraged as you don’t want to go into labor far from home
Herbal Remedies in Pregnancy
While herbal medications are commonly thought of as “natural” alternatives to other medicines, they can be just as potent as some prescription medications. Some herbs have been known to cause premature contractions if taken during pregnancy.
The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate herbal medications so there is very little control over these products.
Please inform your physician of any and all herbal remedies and/or vitamin supplements you are using as these can have side effects or interact with other medications.
Common Complaints and Remedies
During your pregnancy, you may find that you are suffering from yeast or vaginal infections, cold or flu, stomach upset or other common complaints. To help you alleviate these symptoms, we provide you with the following information. It is not in any way to replace advice from your provider. If you have any questions, please discuss them with your provider.
MORNING SICKNESS, NAUSEA AND VOMITING
We recommend small frequent meals throughout the day. Dry toast or crackers, before getting out of bed in the morning, sometimes relieves nausea. Flat ginger ale or ginger capsules may also be used. It is best to avoid spicy, greasy foods. Vitamin B6 100 mg every 12 hours will help quiet the nausea and vomiting. If you are unable to keep foods or liquids down, please call our office.
If you have had a yeast infection in the past, you are familiar with the curd-like discharge, itching and redness of the vagina and vulva. During pregnancy, it is safe to use over the counter medications such as Monistat. Please follow the directions on the package and carefully insert the applicator only halfway into the vagina. Your symptoms should improve in several days. If the infection does not respond to medication, please call to schedule an appointment.
It is safe to take Tylenol or Tylenol Extra Strength if you are experiencing fever and aches related to a cold. Please avoid aspirin and ibuprophen during pregnancy. For congestion, first try inhaling steam, salt water gargles, saline nasal spray and throat lozenges. Sudafed, Actifed or Benadryl may be taken for congestion. Robitussin or Triaminic without alcohol may be used for cough. Follow the directions on the package for these medications. If you experience fever greater than 101 degrees, productive cough with colored sputum, shortness of breath, or difficulty catching your breath, please contact our office.
Heartburn is a common complaint during pregnancy. Tums, Maalox, Zantac and or Tagament HB are all safe during pregnancy. Avoid lying down immediately after eating. If your heartburn is accompanied by upper abdominal pain, high pressure, swelling or headache, please contact our office.
Increasing your fluid intake and eating high fiber products, along with exercise may be helpful. Colace, Surfac and Metamucil may be used according to package directions.
If you are vomiting, it is important to avoid anything orally until the vomiting stops. Hydration is much more important than eating food, so clear liquids are recommended until your stomach settles down. These include: soft drinks without caffeine, weak tea, Gatorade, Jell-O, and Popsicles. Plain water may be nauseating to an upset stomach. As your appetite increases, you may want to try the BRAT diet….. B-Banana, R-Rice, A-Applesauce, and T-Toast. Avoid dairy products, greasy, fatty or rich foods of any kind until you are feeling better. It is safe to take Kaopectate or Imodium for diarrhea. If you are unable to keep any fluids down, are experiencing excessive thirst or decrease in urination, please contact our office for further instructions.
Fifth Disease is a caused by human parvovirus B19 and is spread through respiratory secretions (e.g., saliva, sputum, or nasal mucous). It is also known as “slapped cheek” disease due to the bright red rash that appears on the cheeks of children with the disease.
Many women (about 50%) are immune to the virus as they have been previously infected during childhood without knowing it. It is only a concern if you are infected during pregnancy. You may experience no symptoms or you may have flu-like symptoms such as a sore throat, joint pain, or headache. A simple blood test can determine if you are immune to the disease as once you have had it, you develop lasting immunity.
As with most contagious diseases, pregnant women who are not immune should not share drinking cups or utensils and thoroughly wash their hands. Tylenol, fluids, and plenty of rest should help with the flu-like symptoms as there is no definitive treatment for Fifth Disease.