One of the annoying things about pregnancy is having to constantly question what you’re putting inside your body.
Over-the-counter medications you never thought twice about are now being called into question. With conflicting results every time you Google a drug, it can be hard to know what’s safe and what can harm your baby.
In this post, we’re rounding up the most commonly Googled questions when it comes to over-the-counter medications and pregnancy.
Please note: The information provided in this post is general advice. Always talk to your doctor before taking a new medication while pregnant and always read and follow the label.
Unfortunately, many over-the-counter medications haven’t been studied enough on pregnant women specifically to determine if they’re 100% safe. In addition, just because a medication is safe for one woman doesn’t mean it’s safe for you. Your doctor will know any conditions you have that can affect the medication and your baby. He or she can assess whether the benefit outweighs any risks of the drug.
In general, it’s best to avoid medications when the condition can be alleviated by a natural and safer solution or remedy.
Can I Take This Medication?
Here are some of the most common questions pregnant women Google about over-the-counter medications.
Can Pregnant Women Take Tylenol?
The truth is that doctors don’t fully understand the effects of acetaminophen during pregnancy. Some research has shown that it may increase a baby’s risk of developing ADHD. However, these results are conflicting and most physicians will say it’s okay to use Tylenol when you need additional pain relief. To be safe, only use it when needed and not for prolonged periods (more than a few days).
Can Pregnant Women Take Tylenol 3?
Tylenol 3 contains codeine, which can be habit-forming, so talk to your doctor before taking it. Research shows that in small short-term doses, it’s probably safe. However, one study found that maternal codeine intake was associated with acute C-sections and postpartum hemorrhages.
Can Pregnant Women Take Tylenol Cold & Sinus?
The package indicates that pregnant women should ask their doctor before taking Tylenol Cold & Sinus. Some pharmacists recommend only taking it past the first trimester. Try taking regular Tylenol or using saline nose rinses first.
Can Pregnant Women Take Aleve?
Women should avoid NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) throughout pregnancy, including Aleve. This is because they may increase the risk of congenital heart defects, other heart defects and low amniotic fluid levels.
Can Pregnant Women Take Ibuprofen/Advil or Motrin?
Since NSAIDs should be avoided completely, don’t take Advil or Motrin during any trimester unless your doctor says it’s okay.
Can Pregnant Women take Advil PM?
Advil should be avoided throughout pregnancy, including Advil PM.
Can Pregnant Women Take Aspirin?
Aspirin should be generally avoided throughout pregnancy because it can be harmful to your baby in high and frequent doses. However, some doctors recommend a low dose for women who’ve experienced recurrent pregnancy loss since it can help prevent preeclampsia.
Can Pregnant Women Take Muscle Relaxers?
Muscle relaxers should be avoided in pregnancy unless necessary. If the benefits outweigh the risks, your doctor may prescribe you Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril). Before trying medication, see if other solutions, such as prenatal massage, will work.
Can Pregnant Women Take Benadryl?
Antihistamines, such as Benadryl and Claritin, are generally safe to use.
Can Pregnant Women Take Reactine?
Studies have not shown Reactine (cetirizine) to have any harmful effects during pregnancy.
Can Pregnant Women Have Cough Drops, Halls or Ricola?
Cough drops are likely safe to use but it’s worth noting that the effects aren’t fully known and it depends on their ingredients. Halls and Ricola are generally safe to use in moderation.
Can Pregnant Women Take Tums/Other Antacids?
Tums, Rolaids and Maalox can provide safe relief for mothers suffering from heartburn.
Can Pregnant Women Take Gravol?
Can Pregnant Women Take Dimetapp?
As with many medications, Dimetapp hasn’t been fully studied on pregnant women, but it’s probably safe to take when necessary.
Can Pregnant Women Take Sudafed?
Although there’s no definitive conclusions, many doctors tell their pregnant patients to avoid Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) in the first trimester, but say it’s okay in the second and third.
Can Pregnant Women Take Pepto Bismol?
Pepto Bismol is probably safe to use during the first trimester. However, you should avoid it during the second and third trimesters, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. This is because it may increase your risk of bleeding issues.
Can Pregnant Women Take Gaviscon?
Gaviscon is safe to take but the same as any other over-the-counter medication, you should only use it when necessary and avoid high doses.
Can Pregnant Women Take Metamucil?
Fiber supplements like Metamucil are okay to take during pregnancy and are a safer alternative to laxatives.
Can Pregnant Women Take Miralax?
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, since only a small amount of Miralax is absorbed by the body, it’s safe for short-term pregnancy use. With that being said, there isn’t enough research on Miralax and pregnant women to definitely determine it’s 100% safe.
Can Pregnant Women Take Stool Softeners, Miralax, Dulcolax or Senna?
Laxatives and stool softeners should be a last choice after safer, natural remedies haven’t proven effective. You should still ask your doctor and only use the laxative on a short-term basis.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, since only a small amount of Miralax is absorbed by the body, it’s safe for short-term pregnancy use. With that being said, there isn’t enough research on Miralax and pregnant women to determine it’s 100% safe.
Some doctors also recommend bisacodyl (Dulcolax) and senna (Senokot).
Can Pregnant Women Take Gas-X?
Gas-X (simethicone) is okay to occasionally take during pregnancy since it doesn’t appear to cross the placenta.
Can Pregnant Women Take Melatonin?
Melatonin is naturally produced by the body, but that doesn’t mean taking extra is always safe. Some research shows that melatonin supplements may negatively impact the baby while others theorize that it could protect the baby against brain injury. Melatonin is probably safe for pregnant women to take short-term, but if you need something to help you sleep long-term, talk to your doctor about other options.
Can Pregnant Women Take NeoCitran?
NeoCitran contains phenylephrine, which is best avoided in the first trimester. You may instead consider making a similar but safer beverage at home by combining hot water, lemon and honey.
Can Pregnant Women Take Probiotics?
Probiotics are good for digestive health and are most likely safe during pregnancy. However, because there are so many different brands, we can’t say they’re 100% safe. Ask your doctor which probiotic he or she recommends during pregnancy.
Can Pregnant Women Use Orajel?
Orajel (benzocaine) is probably safe to use during pregnancy. Although there hasn’t been enough research to conclusively say it’s safe, there’s no studies to say that it’s harmful when used as needed, occasionally.
Can Pregnant Women Use Abreva?
Although the FDA hasn’t evaluated docosanol (Abreva) for pregnant women specifically, it’s generally considered safe.
Can Pregnant Women Use Canesten Cream?
Clotrimazole (Canesten) cream has not been studied enough in the first trimester, but studies in second and third trimester women show that it doesn’t harm the baby.
Can Pregnant Women Use Vagisil?
Vagisil is generally safe to use during pregnancy. However, if your yeast infection persists or recurs, talk to your doctor about other solutions.
Can Pregnant Women Use Icy Hot Patches?
Icy Hot recommends that you talk to your doctor before using their patches during pregnancy. The patches contain menthol, which hasn’t been given a pregnancy safety rating by the FDA. Your doctor will be able to assess whether the benefits outweigh any potential risks. If you’re not sure, you may choose to use a regular heating pad or cold pack.
Can Pregnant Women Use Lavender Oil?
While you’ll probably want to stay away from lavender essential oil in the first trimester, it’s generally considered okay to use in small amounts in the second and third trimesters.
Can Pregnant Women Use Voltaren?
There are not enough studies to assess the safety of diclofenac (Voltaren) on pregnant women. However, researchers know that it does cross the placenta. Since it’s an NSAID, it’s safer to avoid in favor of other pain-relief options.
What medications are you taking during your pregnancy? Comment below! If you have any pregnant friends, be sure to share this post with them to keep their baby safe!
P.S. Have you tried a fetal doppler yet? These amazing at-home devices allow you to listen to your baby’s heartbeat while she’s still inside the womb. Many parents say they ease anxieties and create unique bonding experiences. Get one for as low as $19.95 today!