Can I take medication while I am pregnant?

June 20, 2017

Because your immune system becomes suppressed when you are pregnant, there is a good chance that you will feel a bit under the weather at some point during those nine months. But how can you be sure if it is safe to take medication? While some over-the-counter medications are safe for pregnant women to take, others are either unsafe, or their effects on a developing fetus are unknown.

After confirming you are pregnant, ask your doctor what medications are safe to take during your pregnancy and which ones should be avoided. You can work with your doctor to weigh the risks and the benefits of each medicine that you may take to help you come to the safest conclusion for your health and the health of your baby.

Make sure to talk to your doctor about alternative medicines or supplements that you take, even if they are natural. Also, if you are prescribed any new medications during your pregnancy, make sure the prescribing doctor knows that you are pregnant.

Which Medicines Are Safe During Pregnancy?

Any prenatal vitamins that you purchase in the store are safe and even important to take during pregnancy. It is always best to check with your doctor first before taking anything while you are pregnant, even things such as herbal supplements.

When it comes to over-the-counter medications, you should weigh the risks with the benefits. However, depending on the health concern, sometimes it is actually healthier for the pregnancy for you to be on the medication.

Which Medications Have No Known Harmful Effects?

You will want to check with your doctor before taking these medications, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. However, the following medications have not yet had any indication of being harmful to pregnant women:

  • Claritin
  • Tylenol
  • Colace
  • Metamucil

Additionally, most topical medications such as Neosporin are safe during pregnancy.

What Are Some Safe Alternative Therapies During Pregnancy?

Many pregnant women experience nausea during their first trimester. Rather than taking medications such as Zofran, alternative therapies like acupuncture, ginger, acupressure, and vitamin B6 can provide relief.

For backaches, chiropractic care is very effective, as is getting massages. If you do choose these alternative therapies, make sure they know you are pregnant.

What About Aromatherapy?

While aromatherapy may seem harmless, some essential oils are not safe to use during pregnancy. It is important to avoid:

  • mugwort
  • calamus
  • pennyroyal
  • sage
  • basil
  • wintergreen
  • hyssop
  • myrrh
  • thyme
  • marjoram

If you are in doubt about a medication that you may take during pregnancy, consult your physician. It is best to avoid any medication that you have questions about until you are sure that it is safe.