Medicines That are Okay to Take While Pregnant

There may come a time during your pregnancy when you're feeling under the weather and aren't sure if you can take your regular over-the-counter medication. Some medications are safe to take during pregnancy. But others are not, or their effects on your baby may not be known.

For the flu:Tamiflu

Your immune system isn't as strong when you're pregnant, so the flu can hit you a whole lot harder. That's why it's so important to get the inactivated flu vaccine so you don't get the live virus. If you've been exposed to and/or tested positive for the flu, doctors say it's important to take Tamiflu to lessen the symptoms and duration.

For constipation: Metamucil, Colace, Citracel, Milk of Magnesia, Dulcolax

You have the green light for taking stool softeners and laxatives, but also try upping your fiber intake by eating more fruits and veggies and drinking plenty of fluids.

For pain: Regular and extra-strength Tylenol (acetaminophen)

Follow the dosage on the bottle for Tylenol and you'll be okay. Other types of pain relievers—such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) and naproxen (Aleve)—can trigger a decrease in amniotic fluid levels in third trimester. This means there is less cushioning for your baby.

For indigestion and heartburn: Tums, Maalox, Mylanta, Pepcid

Heartburn is extremely common during pregnancy. Old wives will tell you it's because your baby has a lot of hair. Scientifically, it's because progesterone causes heartburn by affecting your smooth muscle cells and relaxing the sphincter between your stomach and esophagus so acid comes up. Before you take a prescription med such as Prilosec, try over-the-counter remedies first because they're the least strong. Also eat smaller, more frequent meals.

For Infections: Penicillin

If you have an infection such as strep throat or an UTI that calls for antibiotics, penicillin is the way to go. The tetracycline and doxycycline families of antibiotics have been found to cause discoloration in babies' teeth after the fourth month of pregnancy, because these meds affect the calcification of their teeth.

For yeast: Monistat, Gynelotrimin

Yeast infections are common during pregnancy, and while the condition won't harm the baby the last thing you want to do is suffer through the itchy discomfort.

For the common cold: Benadryl, Sudafed, Afrin nasal spray, Claratin, Robitussin DM, Vicks Formula 44

Pretty much all of the over-the-counter meds for common cold are thought to be safe. One thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of combination meds, such as Tylenol Cold, that treat multiple symptoms, such as a runny nose and cough and fever. But if the only cold symptoms you have are a headache and stuffy nose, why would you take a medication that also treats a cough?

Please consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medication while pregnant.

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