Can I take allergy medication while pregnant?


Ah, allergies. Unless you have them, very few people can appreciate how awful they can be. So if you need to take allergy medication during pregnancy you can imagine how uptight some people get about it and wonder why you don't just suffer through it. To these people I say, "suck my snot."

Not unlike cold medication, the trick here is to take medication that has been around a long time. Nobody has ever raised their hand and said, "use me and my unborn child as guinea pigs to test your fine medication, my good sir." so all the data has to be collected over years and years of medical findings to see if kids are growing seven belly buttons from a medication.

The ones that have been deemed low risk (no risk would be taking nothing and sitting in a puddle of snot) are Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and Loratadine (Claritin). Some sites say Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) is okay if you're out of your first trimester, but a few other sites say to stay away from it all together. I'm not sure if there is merit to this or they are just giving it the thumbs down on account of the first trimester iffyness.

Benadryl seems to be the across the board favourite as being a safe medication to for allergies when you're pregnant. It's been around since 1946 and it's a first-generation antihistamine. The downside to that is it will make you groggy because the newer drugs (second-generations) are the ones that have the non-drowsy formulas but they aren't as tried and true. It's a bit of kick in the ass because you're probably already tired but it may be a good night time option if you're just looking to get some sleep.

Another interesting tidbit I found is that many women are prescribed antihistamines for morning sickness. Who knew?

There are quite a few non-medical, natural remedies out there as well.

Neti pots are awesome plus Dr. Oz did a demo on Oprah with one – I mean, c'mon what the hell else do you need?! They are kind of freaky the first time you use them but I do find they are great for nasal congestion. As great as they are, if you're really stuffed up you'll still probably have to get out the big antihistamine guns.

As for nasal sprays, only saline nasal sprays have been given the thumbs up. Everybody gets really pissy about the good stuff like Otrivin – because even though they haven't be shown to cause birth defects, they haven't be shown not to either.

I couldn't find any herbal remedies that everyone could agree on which isn't surprising because of the lack of research behind most herbs.

At the end of the day, if you can handle your allergies by having a hot shower and blowing your nose, great. But if you're congested to the point where you think your head is going to roll off or you sound like Darth Vader when you're lying in bed, take something. I'm sure all parties involve would be happier if mamma could breathe and have a full night of sleep.


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Can I take antibiotics while pregnant?

Has that thing-that-you-always-get-with-the-problem-that-goes-with-it come back? Can you take antibiotics for it?


Common antibiotics that are considered safe are penicillins (such as amoxicillin and ampicillin), cephalosporins (such as cephalexin), and erythromycin.

Ones you shouldn't take during pregnancy are streptomycin and tetracycline.

There are a billion ones in between that are iffy because they haven't had sufficient studies done on them.

That said, you *should* be getting antibiotics through your doctor anyway so don't be dusting off the shit that sitting in your medicine cabinet that you were supposed to finish the last time. Of course, I would know nothing of this tactic *cough*.

Seriously though, this probably isn't the best time to get all creative with the self-medicating so you really should see someone who knows what they are talking about. If you have something that requires antibiotics, it has to be treated, so throw a tarp over thing-that-you-always-get-with-the-problem-that-goes-with-it and get it taken care of.

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Pregnant and sick with a cold. Ugh.


Here's the thing with cold medicine and other kinds of medication, the only ones you can take are the ones that have been around for a long time.

Why? Because many pregnant ladies have taken it before you and none have sued the pharmaceutical companies because their kid was born with nine belly buttons.

Drug companies can't test on people (well, at least none that we know of) so they can't really say if it will do harm to a baby. They're usually pretty sure of what it will do to a pregnant rat but that doesn't make you feel much better. I think the thing most people can't grasp is how sick you get when you can't take anything – it's awful. What's more, this is where the "better safe than sorry" shit comes up. Rest assured that all these "better safe than sorry" people are sleeping soundly at 3am while you're coughing up a lung. ALL medication will tell you not to take it while you're pregnant or nursing but  some pharmacists will sometimes take pity on you and tell you which ones are okay. Sometimes it helps to let the snot trickle into your mouth when you ask "can I take this?". If nothing else, it will get a quick answer out of everyone to get you out of the store.

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