What Medications Are Safe During Pregnancy?

A general rule of thumb – check with your obstetrician before taking any medications while pregnant

Before taking any over-the-counter or prescription medication not mentioned below, you should check with the office.

  • You should not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium unless directed to do so by your physician or midwife.
  • Regular strength acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the medication of choice for pain or fever. If you have a fever of 100.4 or higher, please call the office.
  • For sinus congestion with colds, allergies, or flu, pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) may be used. You also may use a saline nasal spray, such as Ocean or Nasal. Do not use Neosynephrine nasal spray for longer than 3 days.
  • You may take Robitussin DM for coughs or chest congestion.
  • A warm salt-water gargle is recommended for a sore throat. Throat drops, spray, or lozenges are acceptable.
  • A cool air vaporizer may help you sleep at night.
  • Increased fluid intake and getting sufficient rest are essential.
  • If your nasal or throat drainage changes from a clear color, please call the office.

General Guidelines for Safe Medications During Pregnancy

Headache Tylenol(Acetaminophen)
Nausea/Vomiting/Upset Stomach Mylanta, Tums, Sea Bands (wrist bands) or ask the office nurse for prescription medication
Stuffy Nose Salt water or nasal spray
Sore Throat Cepacol Lozenges, Hall’s cough drops or salt water
Leg Cramps Viactive Chewable Calcium, Tums
Hemorrhoids Preparation H, Tucks
Diarrhea Imodium, Kaopectate, please call the office if more than one does is necessary.
Constipation Colace(docusate sodium), Metamucil, Fibercon.
Insomnia/Trouble Sleeping Unisom (Doxylamine)

Cough and Cold

Increase fluid intake, especially clear liquids. Use a vaporizer at night if congested. You may use Tylenol as directed for fever, aches or pains (do not use more than the recommended daily dose). Actifed, Benadryl, Drixoral, Robitussin, or Sudafed are over the counter medications that can be used in pregnancy and are available at your local drug store. Do not use any nasal spray except Ayr or Ocean nasal saline unless prescribed by your physician

The following medications are labeled as “class A”. This means that many women have used them in pregnancy and there was no significant increase in birth defects:

  • Unisom (Doxylamine) – For sneezing, allergies.
  • Saline (Salt Water) – Nasal spray – for stuffy nose.

The following medications are labeled as “class B”. This means that research studies on animals have not shown any birth defects or studies in humans have not shown birth defects. However, not enough women have used these medications to make them “class A”.

  • Tylenol (acetaminophen) – Headache, sore throat
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine) – Allergies, sneezing, colds
  • Chlor-Trimeton (chlorphenairamine) – Allergies, colds

The following medications are labeled as “class C”. This means there is little information available about the effects of this medication on an unborn baby. However, nothing harmful has been seen so far.

  • Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) – Stuffy nose, cold
  • Robitussin (guaifenesin) – Cough
  • Dextromethorphan – Common ingredient in cough and cold medications.

General Information

  • Pregnant women may take some antibiotics. Penicillin, Ampicillin, Erythromycin, Amoxicillin, Macro bid and Zithromax (Azithromycin) are a few of the more common ones. If someone outside of our office prescribes an antibiotic other than one of these and you are concerned, please call us at (540)720-7340 and speak to a nurse before taking it.
  • DO NOT TAKE Motrin, Advil, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Naproxen, Aspirin or any product containing these drugs during your pregnancy, unless specifically directed by your obstetricians.
  • Novocain without epinephrine may be used to numb your gums for dental work during pregnancy.