What can I do for [insert given ailment] now that I’m pregnant?
That’s a question we hear a lot at South Lake ObGyn, and it’s a question we want and need to answer for our patients. The fact is, while no medication is completely risk-free during pregnancy, some medications can be used safely when circumstances demand it – as long as you consult with your physician or other health care provider. That’s why we always encourage you to call with your questions. We’re always here for you.
In the meantime, however, here are a few tips to help you as you think about medication and pregnancy.
Do I keep taking my prescription medications?According to the CDC, about two-thirds of women in the U.S. take one or more prescription medications during pregnancy. If you regularly take a prescription medication, please come see us if you plan to become pregnant or as soon as you discover you are pregnant.
Together, we can discuss the particulars of your situation and then consider whether you and the baby are safer on or off medication, or if the medication simply needs to be adjusted. Sometimes, the answer is clear cut; other times, it is not. In either case, we must have the conversation so you understand the various risks and benefits. So again, please come in and see us. Soon!
What about vitamins and supplements? We encourage you to take a prenatal vitamin, as the clinical evidence suggests doing so can help protect your baby’s health. However, most other vitamins, herbal remedies, and supplements have not been tested or proven safe for pregnant women; in fact, these items are not even regulated by the FDA. Remember: Natural does not necessarily mean harmless. Please talk to us first.
What about over-the-counter medications? Generally, you should not take any over-the-counter medication while pregnant unless it is absolutely necessary. However, it is probably safe to take the following should the need arise.
Mayo Clinic Recommendations for Safer Medications to Take During Pregnancy
- Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
Check with your doctor before taking these in the first trimester.
Cold and Flu
- Tylenol (acetaminophen)
- Saline nasal drops or spray
- Warm salt/water gargle
Check with your doctor before taking any other medications, especially in the first trimester.
First Aid Ointment
- J&J First-Aid Cream
- Benadryl cream
- Caladryl lotion or cream
- Hydrocortisone cream or ointment
- Oatmeal bath