Safe Drugs in Pregnancy - Medications for Pain, Cough, and Cold during Pregnancy

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During pregnancy treating a simple ailment may seem complicated. You may feel under the weather but are not sure whether you should take regular over-the-counter medications.

There is no way to risk the life of your beloved child. Know about the bad medications. Simply avoid them. Do not hurt your baby.

Here is the first rule.

Try to avoid any unnecessary medications during the early trimester of your pregnancy.
This is because, during the first trimester, there is a rapid development of all the fetal organs (heart, lung, nervous system, gastrointestinal tract etc). This makes them extremely vulnerable to the potential risks of drugs. Thus the consequence of taking those drugs may be extremely catastrophic.

Does it mean you have to suffer all the time during pregnancy? Of course not. In cases you can not get by without medication, it is recommended you consult your physician to decide on different over-the-counter and prescription drugs branded as safe to take at your stage of pregnancy.

Here is an important message to the mothers.

Always consult your physician about any alternative medications or supplements you take even though it is labeled "herbal" or "natural."

Furthermore, let your physician know that you are pregnant even you think your illness is not related to pregnancy.

I get headches frequently and i am pregnant. What medications should i use ?

Headache and joint pain is a common problem in pregnancy. Simple cold compression and rest can help alleviate headaches and muscle pain. If it is not controlled, your doctor may recommend pain relieving medications like acetaminophen. In usual dose prescription it is regarded as safe during pregnancy. In resistant cases, aspirin and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen can also be used. However try to avoid them as much as possible during near conception or in early pregnancy. There may be increased risk of birth defect or miscarriage.

I am pregnant and have a bad cough. What OTC medications should be safe to use ?

Again it is rare to pass nine months of pregnancy without cough, cold or allergy symptoms. At first take adequate rest, drink plenty of fluids favorably warm ones and use nasal spray (of normal saline). These are the best non drug approaches. Cold poses no special risks during pregnancy.

But the flu during pregnancy can be a real serious issue.

Flu vaccination is safe for both you and your baby. That is why it is safe to get one vaccine during flu season in your second or third trimester.

If you need to consider drug treatment especially after first trimester, your doctor may prescribe old fashioned yet harmless antihistamine chlorpheniramine. It has been used for many years by pregnant women and really a safe option here.

Data for the safety of new drugs (like desloratadine, loratadine) is not quite convincing.

Oxymetazoline containing nasal decongestants are also harmless because only a small amount of the drug is absorbed into your systemic circulation.

Dextromethorphan is a safe cough suppressant. Never forget to avoid products containing iodine. It may result in serious thyroid problems in your baby (hypo or hyperthyroidism).

About the Author

Dr Rezahaider's picture
Author: Dr Rezahaider

I am a physician by profession. I dream to work on medicine in the near future. I have completed my residency three years back. Now, I am planning to obtain MRCP. This is very hard exam and surely, I am always scared of it. I have also decided to do my specialization on cardiology. Before medical school, I never thought that our heart could be so complex! So pray for me. I usually don't have enough time to write due to my studies. But whenever I get time I love to write. I write on medical related issues. I try to make it simple for you.

Comments

Ph. Bhagavan P S RPh's picture

http://www.pharmainfo.net/bhagavan-p-s/blog/50-five-way-test-self-medication

1.. Is this the right drug?

2. Do I really need this?

3. Could there be non-drug alternative?

4. Does this match well with my other drugs / my present status?

5. What care should I take when I swallow this?

Bhagavan P.S. B Pharm

Rtd. Dy Dir.(Pharmacy),Govt of Karnataka, India
Dr Rezahaider's picture

Thank you Sir. You are right. This is exactly the way we should proceed to choose a medication. Use of every medication should be justified not only in developed countries but also in developing ones.

rhaider  

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