Medications for Expectant Mothers
We would like to outline some medications and tips to follow for the treatment of nausea, minor colds, respiratory infections, and hay fever. These problems are very common in pregnancy, and it would be helpful for you to know how to deal with them. If will save you the trouble of calling us about your symptoms and having to wait for the staff to call you back with advice.
It is a general rule that medications should be avoided during pregnancy. But if you are ill, there are various medications that have been widely used for years and have been demonstrated to have a wide margin of safety.
Nausea can be treated with a combination of Unisom and vitamin B6. You may combine 10 mg of Unisom with 10 mg of vitamin B6. This combination is equal to one dose. You may take one to two doses of this combination every 8 hours as needed. Be mindful that Unisom may cause drowsiness.
If you get a minor viral illness such as a cold, runny nose, mild sore throat, slight fever (under 100.4 which lasts less than 2 days), chills, muscle aches, and headaches, the following medications are recommended.
- TYLENOL: 2 tablets every 4-6 hours or 1 extra strength Tylenol every 4-6 hours. This is helpful for fever, muscle aches, and headaches.
- CHLORTRIMETON: This is the oldest antihistamine available and has been shown to have a minimal risk factor. This may cause slight drowsiness and therefore is good to take at bedtime.
- SUDAFED: This is a decongestant and may keep you awake, so it is preferable for daytime use.
- ACTIFED: This is a decongestant, which may cause drowsiness.
- TYLENON-SINUS: A combination of Tylenol for fever and Sudafed for a decongestant.
- ROBITUSSIN: This is a good cough syrup expectorant. There are various combinations available that can be used. Robitussin DM tends to make you a bit drowsy and is good to control a cough at bedtime.
- ASPIRIN: This has a high margin of safety in the first half of pregnancy but should only be used if your doctor discussed this with you first.
- SALINE/SALT WATER NOSE SPRAY: These are good to clear sinus congestion. AFRIN or NEO-SYNEPHRINE can be used every 12 hours if other methods do not offer relief. These should be used for no more than three days at a time.
- Warm salt water gargles or CEPACOL throat spray and lozenges are useful for a sore throat.
Other comfort measures include warm, wet compresses to your sinus area to help them open and drain. A vaporizer at bedtime will add moisture to the air and help alleviate breathing problems. Sleep with extra pillows to keep your head elevated. Be sure to drink lots of juice and water (6-8 glasses a day) to keep yourself well hydrated.
If you get a high fever (one that is over 101 lasting 24 hours or more), a sore throat that persists for longer than 36-48 hours and seems to be getting worse, or if an earache is associated with the above symptoms, please call our office. If you have bloody, green, or yellow mucus drainage for your nasal passage or sinuses, let us know.
For heartburn, indigestion, or gas, use any low sodium product, such as MAALOX, MYLANTA, RIOPAN, GAS-X, GAVISCON, TUMS, ROLAIDS, PEPCID, or ZANTAC.
For constipation, a daily use of METAMUCIL or CITRACIL, stool softeners COLACE, SENAKOT, MILK OF MAGNESIA, or glycerin suppositories such as DULCOLAX SUPPOSOTORIES will help.
For mild diarrhea with or without nausea, DONNAGEL is quite effective. Along with this, avoid any beverages containing caffeine and milk products.