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This chart lists over-the-counter medicines considered "low risk" for pregnant women when taken for the occasional mild illness. It also mentions a few that are not safe. Of course, nothing is 100 percent safe for all women, so it's a good idea to check with your doctor or midwife before taking any kind of medicine during pregnancy. Don't take more than the recommended dose and, if possible, avoid taking anything during your first trimester when your developing baby is most vulnerable.
NOTE: If you have a question about the safety of any medication during pregnancy, visit the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists Web site. There you'll find fact sheets on various drugs and exposures that can affect your baby as well as a list of "teratogen information services" that you can contact.
Problem Safe to take
Heartburn, gas and bloating, upset stomach Antacids for heartburn (Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, Tums)
Simethicone for gas pains (Gas-X, Maalox Anti-Gas, Mylanta Gas, Mylicon)
Cough or cold Guaifenesin, an expectorant (Hytuss, Mucinex, Naldecon Senior EX, Robitussin)
Dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant (Benylin Adult, Robitussin Maximum Strength Cough, Scot-Tussin DM, Vicks 44 Cough Relief)
Guaifenesin plus dextromethorphan (Benylin Expectorant, Robitussin DM, Vicks 44E)
Avoid cold remedies that contain alcohol. Also avoid the decongestants pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine, which can affect blood flow to the placenta.
Pain relief, headache, and fever Acetaminophen (Anacin Aspirin-Free, Tylenol)
Allergy relief Chlorpheniramine, an antihistamine (Chlor-Trimeton allergy tablets)
Loratadine, an antihistamine (Alavert, Claritin, Tavist ND, Triaminic Allerchews)
Diphenhydramine, an antihistamine (Banophen, Benadryl, Diphenhist, Genahist)
Constipation, hemorrhoids, and diarrhea Psyllium (Konsyl-D, Metamucil, Modane Bulk, Perdiem)
Other laxatives and stool softeners (Colace, Dulcolax, Maltsupex, milk of magnesia)
Hemorrhoid creams (Anusol, Preparation H, Tucks)
Loperamide, anti-diarrhea medication (Imodium (immodium), Kaopectate II, Maalox Anti-Diarrheal, Pepto Diarrhea Control)
Yeast infections and other fungal infections such as athlete's foot Clotrimazole (Cruex, Gyne-Lotrimin 3, Lotrimin AF, Mycelex 7)
Undecylenic Acid and derivatives (Cruex, Desenex, Fungi Cure, Tinacide)
Certain Cruex, Desenex, and Fungi Cure products may contain other antifungal agents not listed here that should not be used during pregnancy. Check the labels carefully.
Insomnia Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Maximum Strength Unisom SleepGels, Nytol, Sominex)
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