These Common Medications Are Safe To Take During Pregnancy

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Note: The Pregistry website includes expert reports on more than 2000 medications, 300 diseases, and 150 common exposures during pregnancy and lactation. These expert reports are free of charge and can be saved and shared.

Note: always follow your doctor’s instructions. Never change your medication regimen on your own.

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Of all the questions you have when you are pregnant, none may be as important as “what medications are safe?” Anything that goes in to or on your body can affect your growing baby, so it’s smart to be cautious when it comes to prescription and non-prescriptions drugs. Thankfully, many medications for common aches, pains, and illnesses are safe during pregnancy.

Below is a list of medications that are considered safe for most women during pregnancy. Just remember to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication. Additionally, the FDA and the CDC offer resources for learning about medication safety during pregnancy.

Over-the-counter (non-prescription) medicines

 Pain relief:

Digestive aids:

  • Antacids (Tums, Rolaids, Mylanta, Maalox, Pepcid, Prevacid, Zantac)
  • Simethicone (Gas-X, Mylicon, Gaviscon) for gas pain
  • Immodium for diarrhea after first trimester for 24 hours only
  • Fiber (Metamucil, MiraLax, Citrucel, BeneFiber) for constipation
  • Laxatives can be used occasionally (Colace, Dulcolax)
  • Phenylephrine/mineral oil/petrolatum (Preparation H) for hemorrhoids
  • Witch hazel (Tucks pads or ointment) for hemorrhoids

Medicine for cough, cold, and flu:

Allergy relief:

  • Chlorpheniramine alone (Chlor-Trimeton)
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Loratadine (Claritin, others)
  • Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  • Oxymetazoline nasal spray (Afrin) (limit use to 3 days)
  • Steroid nasal sprays (Rhinocort)
  • Saline nasal spray
  • Neti-pot or sinus rinse

First aid, burns, and rashes:

Insect repellent:

  • N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET)

Sleep aid:

Yeast infection:

Remember that no medication is 100% safe or effective for every woman. If you are concerned about your symptoms or chronic conditions, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the right treatment for you and your baby. Whether you are pregnant or not, it is usually safest to take the lowest effective dose of a medication for the shortest possible time.

Jennifer Gibson
Dr. Jennifer Gibson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Clemson University and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Medical College of Virginia School of Pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University. She trained as a hospital pharmacist and is the author of clinical textbooks, peer-reviewed journal articles, and continuing education programs for the medical community, as well as a contributor to award-winning healthcare blogs and websites. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.

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