What type of allergy medicine can you take while pregnant
While it would be best to avoid allergens that annoy you, that’s not always a possibility. Numerous pregnant women and their providers prefer to start with a non-pharmaceutical treatment plan whenever possible. Dr. Janelle Luk, medical director and co-founder of Generation Next Fertility in New York City, suggests an over-the-counter saline nasal spray.
Dr. Luk also recommends physical activity to reduce nasal inflammation. In addition, she says patients with a stuffy nose might be capable to sleep better if they elevate the head of the bed by 30 to 45 degrees during sleep.
However, sometimes those non-pharmaceutical options just don’t do the trick, and you need something stronger (aka allergy medicine) to ease your distress.
In that case, there are several options that are safe to try.
“For moderate to severe allergies, your physician may recommend a nonprescription corticosteroid spray or an oral antihistamine,” Dr. Luk says. “Some nasal spray options include Rhinocort Allergy, Flonase, and Nasonex.”
For oral antihistamines, Staunton says she recommends Claritin (loratadine) or Zyrtec (cetirizine) because of their excellent safety history. Both are rated pregnancy category B by the FDA. This means that controlled studies in animals own shown no adverse effects to the developing fetus.
Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is considered fairly safe during pregnancy, according to the CDC.
However, Benadryl Allergy Plus Congestion is not safe for pregnant women because it contains phenylephrine.
You can also take one of the oral antihistamines together with a nasal spray if neither one controls your symptoms on its own.
As for subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy (SCIT), aka allergy shots—if you were on them before pregnancy, your doctor may continue them. But they wouldn’t be started during pregnancy because of “the potential harm that could result if a reaction were to occur,” Staunton says.
If you are suffering from allergy symptoms, speak with your provider about your best options for allergy medicine while pregnant.
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:
- wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
- stay indoors whenever possible
- 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.
Avoid certain allergy medicine while pregnant
There are a number of medications that are not safe to take during pregnancy. First among them are oral decongestants.
“Oral decongestants are best avoided altogether during the first trimester because of an uncertain risk of several rare birth defects,” says Ciara Staunton, a family nurse practitioner and owner of Staunton Primary Care in Cincinnati.
“However, Sudafed (pseudoephedrine), which is locked up behind the pharmacy counter, can be used in the second and third trimesters in women without hypertension.”
But Staunton warns that Sudafed-PE (phenylephrine), the over-the-counter option, should never be taken during pregnancy. It is less effective than pseudoephedrine. But more importantly, its safety for pregnant women is questionable.
Ms. Staunton also recommends against using any herbal therapies during pregnancy.
“In the United States and most other countries, herbal medicines are minimally regulated and not monitored for adverse events.”
Can I get allergies while I’m pregnant?
Yes, you can get allergies while you’re pregnant, sometimes for the first time and certainly if you own a history of them. Allergies are extremely common in pregnancy, and not every women who experience them are long-term allergy sufferers. Numerous women with no known prior allergies only complain of their symptoms 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.
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:
- loratadine – this is generally the first choice for pregnant women because of the quantity of safety data available for it
- 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 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.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical middle. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.
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.
- One-third of fortunate women discover that their allergy symptoms clear up.
- Another one-third of women discover that their allergy symptoms worsen.
- 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.
“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.
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.
Hold your windows closed and turn on your air conditioning or a fan to assist limit your exposure.
Treat mild symptoms with home remedies
Nasal congestion is common during pregnancy, Dr. Zanotti says.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
“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. Its significant for women with allergic asthma to use their prescribed medication. Uncontrolled asthma can cause serious problems during pregnancy.
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.
Check out related articles
Posted In Health Information, Pregnancy, Women’s
Leave A Reply
Bothered by breakouts? Options can assist battle acne
Study about types of treatment, skin care and when to make an appointment
Jane Thaden Lawson ⋅ 15 min read More in Women’s
Baby blues vs. postpartum depression
Parenting Services ⋅ 4 min read
If sneezing, sniffling and itchy eyes began plaguing you for the extremely first time during pregnancy, you may be wondering whether having a baby bump triggered seasonal allergies.
If you are a known allergy sufferer, you’re probably wondering if and how your pregnancy might affect your symptoms.
For one, pregnancy-related nasal congestion, not allergies, could be behind every the sneezes and stuffiness. But how can you tell the difference? Here’s what you need to know about allergies during pregnancy, including what medications are safe to take while you’re expecting.