What allergy meds are safe to take during pregnancy

Primarily, pollens in the air cause spring allergies. Pollens come primarily from trees and grasses. When pollen grains get into the nose, the immune system mistakenly labels them as foreign and releases antibodies to attack these allergens.

That leads to the release of chemicals called histamines into the blood. Histamines trigger runny noses, itchy eyes and other symptoms. Avoiding triggers is the first and best option, although it is admittedly hard. Pollens circulate more on windy days. The higher the pollen count, the more miserable one will be. Numerous cities publicize daily pollen counts. When counts are high or when it is windy, hold windows and doors closed.

If possible, stay inside.


Pseudoephedrine (known by the brand name Sudafed and others) is the preferred oral decongestant to treat allergies during pregnancy. Classified as Pregnancy Category C, pseudoephedrine is known to hazardous in certain situations.

Medicated Nasal Sprays

Cromolyn nasal spray is helpful in treating allergic rhinitis if it is used before exposure to an allergen and prior to the onset of symptoms. This medication is Pregnancy Category B and is available over the counter.

If Cromolyn is not helpful, a nasal steroid spray called Rhinocort Aqua (budesonide) received a Pregnancy Category B rating.

Every other steroid nasal sprays are category C) and should be avoided during pregnancy.

Antihistamine tablets (oral antihistamines)

Antihistamine tablets can assist relieve itchy eyes, a runny nose and sneezing, but not every types are suitable to take during pregnancy, so always check with a GP beforehand.

Pharmacists are unlikely to sell antihistamines without a prescription for use in pregnancy because of manufacturers’ restrictions.

If you cannot use nasal sprays or eyedrops or they do not work for you, a GP may recommend an antihistamine tablet that does not cause drowsiness, such as:

  1. loratadine – this is generally the first choice for pregnant women because of the quantity of safety data available for it
  2. cetirizine – if loratadine is not suitable or does not work for you, a GP may recommend cetirizine, another antihistamine tablet that does not cause drowsiness

Chlorphenamine is also considered one of the safer antihistamines to take during pregnancy, but because it can cause drowsiness, loratadine and cetirizine are generally the preferred options.

For information about taking specific medicines in pregnancy, see the bumps (best use of medicines in pregnancy) website.

If you or your kid own been prescribed fexofenadine, follow your doctor’s instructions about how and when to take it.

Treat mild symptoms with home remedies

Nasal congestion is common during pregnancy, Dr.

Zanotti says.

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Using a humidifier in your home can sometimes assist solve that problem. It won’t remove allergens from the environment, but it will moisten the air. And that can assist soothe irritated nasal passages.

You can also attempt a saline or salt water nasal spray to assist ease congestion, she says.

When to take it

You may only need to take fexofenadine on a day you own symptoms, such as if you own been exposed to something you’re allergic to, love animal hair.

Or you may need to take it regularly to prevent symptoms, such as to stop hay fever during spring and summer.

How much to take

Fexofenadine comes as tablets (30mg, mg and mg).

How much you take depends on why you’re taking it:

  1. For hay fever — the usual dose for adults and children aged 12 years and over is mg once a day.

    What allergy meds are safe to take during pregnancy

    The usual dose for children aged 6 to 11 years is 30mg twice a day. In this case, attempt to space the doses 10 to 12 hours apart.

  2. For hives — the usual dose for adults and children aged 12 years and over is mg once a day.

Be picky about over-the-counter allergy medications

Many allergy medications aren’t safe to take during pregnancy. But loratadine (found in Claratin®) and cetirizine (found in Zyrtec® and Alleroff®) are two over-the-counter antihistamine medications that doctors consider safe to use during pregnancy and when breastfeeding, Dr.

Zanotti says.

Antihistamine medications work by blocking the effects of histamine, which is a trigger for allergy symptoms.

“These medications are really the first-line medications for treating allergies in pregnant women,” she says.

Avoid allergy triggers as much as possible

Environmental allergens such as mold, pollen and animal dander are most often to blame for allergy symptoms. And they are also the most hard allergens to avoid.

Dr. Zanotti’s advice? When pollen or pollution levels are high, limit your time exterior.

What allergy meds are safe to take during pregnancy

Hold your windows closed and turn on your air conditioning or a fan to assist limit your exposure.

How to take it

If you’re taking 30mg fexofenadine tablets, you can take them with or without food.

If you’re taking mg and mg fexofenadine tablets, take them before a meal.

Always take your fexofenadine tablets with a drink of water. Swallow them whole — do not chew them.

What if I forget to take it?

If you’re taking fexofenadine once a day, do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose. Take the next dose at the usual time as prescribed by your doctor.

If you forget doses often, it may assist to set an alarm to remind you.

You could also enquire your pharmacist for advice on other ways to assist you remember to take your medicine.

What if I take too much?

Fexofenadine is generally extremely safe. Taking too much is unlikely to harm you.

If you take an additional dose by error, you might get some of the common side effects. If this happens or you’re concerned, contact your doctor.

If youve lived with seasonal allergies, you know what generally eases your symptoms.

But if your allergies flare up while youre pregnant, your choices narrow. Its more work to understand what wont pose a risk to your baby.

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As with most aspects of pregnancy, it’s hard to tell ahead of time how allergies might affect you. The excellent news is that whether your seasonal allergy symptoms are mild or severe, the symptoms themselves likely wont affect your baby, says OB/Gyn Salena Zanotti, MD.

But will you notice a change in your allergy symptoms while you’re pregnant?

It could go either way, she says.

  1. Another one-third of women discover that their allergy symptoms worsen.
  2. One-third of fortunate women discover that their allergy symptoms clear up.
  3. The remaining one-third discover that their allergy symptoms are about the same as before pregnancy.

“It’s amusing, with pregnancy we see allergies go every three ways,” says Dr. Zanotti. “And we see that with asthma as well.”

So however it goes for you, Dr.

Zanotti suggests five tips that will assist you safely manage your symptoms while youre expecting.

Attempt an intra-nasal steroid spray

If your allergies are severe and you aren’t getting relief from OTC allergy drugs, attempt an intra-nasal steroid spray, such as Nasonex® or Flonase®.

These sprays are safe to use throughout pregnancy and regular dosing is appropriate, Dr. Zanotti says.

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Take care with allergy shots, pseudoephedrine and herbal remedies

“If you own received allergy shots before pregnancy and thought they helped your symptoms, it’s safe to continue them,” says Dr.

Zanotti. “But we don’t recommend initiating allergy shots during pregnancy, because you don’t know what reaction you will have.”

She says numerous expectant mothers enquire about taking pseudoephedrine (a decongestant in such products as Sudafed®).

She recommends that you avoid it in your first trimester.

What allergy meds are safe to take during pregnancy

But you may take it in the second and third trimesters, as endless as you don’t own high blood pressure, she says.

As for herbal remedies and aromatherapy, Dr. Zanotti says their effects on pregnant women haven’t been studied sufficiently. So it’s best to steer clear of them.

Hang in there

If you own tried Dr. Zanotti’s treatment options but aren’t getting much relief, remind yourself that the problem is only temporary.

“It’s significant to hold in mind that neither pregnancy nor seasonal allergy symptoms final forever,” she says.

What allergy meds are safe to take during pregnancy

“There is light at the finish of the tunnel.”

Allergy medications while pregnant

When it comes to taking allergy medications while pregnant, its correct for a woman to be concerned about the baby. Women need to be extremely cautious about using any drugs during pregnancy and if at every possible, to avoid them completely in the first trimester. Most importantly, before taking any allergy drugs at any point during pregnancy, talk to your doctor.

Use of oral decongestants is associated with increased risk of birth defects. Some oral antihistamines, love Allegra (fexofenadine), Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Chlor-Trimeton (chlorpheniramine), Claritin (loratadine), and Zyrtec (cetirizine) appear to be safe after the first trimester, safe meaning they own caused no known harm in studies that own been done.

Avoid antihistamines combined with a decongestant. (Most own a D for decongestant after the name, love Claritin-D.)

Nasal sprays, as prescribed or recommended by a doctor, are applied only in the nose. That means their effects do not go throughout the body love oral medications. However, avoid nasal spray decongestants. There is not enough evidence to indicate whether or not they are safe.

Dont start allergy shots during pregnancy. If women are already taking them when they become pregnant, they can continue.

The reality is, not taking any allergy medication is the best option. But for women whose allergy symptoms are leaving them sleepless and unable to function, taking medication with a doctors approval may be better for both them and the baby.

What allergy meds are safe to take during pregnancy

Its significant for women with allergic asthma to use their prescribed medication. Uncontrolled asthma can cause serious problems during pregnancy.


Older antihistamines, such as chlorpheniramine, are the preferred agents to treat allergic rhinitis during pregnancy and are both Category B medications.

Newer antihistamines such as over-the-counter loratadine (Claritin, generic forms) and cetirizine (Zyrtec, generic forms) are also Pregnancy Category B medications.

A newer prescription antihistamine that is Pregnancy Category B is Xyzal (levocetirizine).

Minimizing allergies

There are also some other steps to take to minimize allergies without harm to the baby. Use an over-the-counter saline nasal spray and/or rinse the nasal cavity with a neti pot once or twice a day. (Follow the printed directions for safe, proper use.) Physical activity can assist reduce nasal inflammation. Nighttime use of nasal strips and elevating the head of ones bed can also assist hold nasal passages more open while sleeping.

Try to hold a positive mindset.

Two things are for certain. Seasonal allergies and pregnancy, both, do not final forever. While pregnant, attempt to avoid potential triggers and use alternatives to medication to minimize the effects of seasonal allergies. There is an finish in sight, and soon mom will be breathing simple and enjoying a healthy, happy baby.

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It’s understandable that a lot of women don’t love to take unnecessary medicines when they’re pregnant. No mother-to-be would ever desire to put her baby at an increased risk of a birth defect caused by medication. However, allergies can make some lady so miserable that medications may be needed just so that allergy symptoms are not taking over their lives.

According to the Food and Drug istration (FDA), no medicines are considered completely safe in pregnancy.

This is because no pregnant lady would desire to sign up for a medication safety study while she is pregnant.

Therefore, the FDA has assigned risk categories to medications based on use in pregnancy:

  1. Category C medications may result in adverse effects on the fetus when studied in pregnant animals, but the benefits of these drugs may outweigh the potential risks in humans.
  2. Category A medications are medications in which there are excellent studies in pregnant women showing the safety of the medication to the baby in the first trimester.

    What allergy meds are safe to take during pregnancy

    Few medications are in this category and no asthma medications are rated category A.

  3. Category B medications own been studied in pregnant animals, which show that they are relatively safe, but no human studies are available.
  4. Category D medications show clear risk to the fetus, but there may be instances in which the benefits outweigh the risks in humans.
  5. Category X medications show clear evidence of birth defects in animals and/or human studies and should not be used in pregnancy.

Which Medications Are Safe in Pregnancy?

Get advice first

Although you can purchase numerous hay fever medicines over the counter, it’s best to get advice from a pharmacist or GP before taking any medicine when you’re pregnant.

They’ll assess your symptoms and the benefits of taking a medicine against the risk of any side effects.

To ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high, it helps to:

  1. stay indoors whenever possible
  2. wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
  3. keep windows and doors shut as much as possible

If you decide to take hay fever medicine, you’ll generally be advised to attempt a nasal spray or eyedrops first.