• Panhandle OBGYN


Pregnancy is a magical time in a woman’s life, though it doesn’t always feel that way. Caring for two lives in the middle of cold and flu season can be overwhelming. Washing hands frequently, drinking plenty of liquids and getting lots of sleep are the best ways to remain healthy. But sickness can sometimes circumvent even the best defenses.

If a mother becomes ill during her pregnancy, it is always best to consult a physician first. But for those times when a doctor isn’t available, please keep the following list of safe medications handy.

Remember, when taking additional medications during pregnancy, it is important to advise the mother’s physician as soon as possible.

Below is a list of common suggestions for common symptoms. This is a general tool and does not take into account other possible drug interactions. Please follow the instructions of a physician first, and whenever possible consult your doctor.

A good rule of thumb: If you aren’t sure, wait until you can speak with your doctor or OB.

Safe Over-the-counter Medications for Expecting Mothers:

For Aches, Pains and Headaches

Acetaminophen only. Regular or Extra Strength Tylenol is the only OTC drug suggested for use.

For Heartburn or a Sour Stomach

Maalox, Mylanta, Pepcid, Prevacid, Riopan, Tums or Zantac.

For Constipation

Citrucel, Colace, Pericolace, Dulcolax, Metamucil, Milk of Magnesia or Miralax. If you find one of these works well for you, talk to your doctor about continuing use after birth.

For Diarrhea

Immodium or Kaopectate are both recommended.

For Head Colds

This is a long list. Take special care to be sure these drugs don’t interact with other medications you may be taking.

Actifed, Alavert or Alavert-D, Allegra, Benadryl, Claritin or Claritin-D, Mucinex or Mucinex-D, Sudafed, Tavist-D, Tylenol Cold & Sinus, Zyrtec or Zytrec-D. You may also use Vitamin C supplements or Emergen-C for head colds.

For Coughs

Delsym and Robitussin are allowed.

For Hemorrhoids

Anusol, Preparation H and Tucks are all useful. Again, keep these on hand for after childbirth.

For Nausea

Vitamin B6 is helpful. With these and all medications, make sure you inform your doctor as soon as is possible. Other options include: B-Natal Pops, Preggie Pops, Emetrol, Ginger supplements and Unisom.

For Sore Throat

First, try gargling salt water. Sometimes this is enough to make sore throats bearable. Throat lozenges are also okay, along with Chloraseptic sprays and Tylenol Sore Throat.

For Insomnia

It is normal for sleep cycles to be interrupted often during pregnancy. If you are completely unable to sleep, however, there are a few OTC options that are reasonably safe. Melatonin is useful, as are Benadryl, Tylenol PM and Unisom.

For Yeast Infections

Clotrimazole (Mycelex, Lotrimin AF), Miconazole (Monistat 3) or Terconazole.

In conclusion, getting through cold-and-flu season is rough enough, but escaping unscathed while pregnant is particularly challenging. Get plenty of rest, eat healthy and stay away from sick people. Good luck!