Over the counter drugs that are okay for pregnancy

We generally recommend you avoid over-the-counter drugs, especially during the first trimester. That is the first three months. The reason is, this is the period when a fetus is most vulnerable to teratogens which include drugs. Organs start forming during the initial weeks of pregnancy. Thus, it is vital to avoid any OTC drug instead of visiting the nearby health facility for guidance.

Pain relievers

During pregnancy, you can take acetaminophen or Tylenol for mild pain relief. Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen during pregnancy.

Medicine for Gastrointestinal upsets

  • Antiacids (tums,rolaids, Mylanta,Maalox, Pepcid and pravalid.
  • Simethicone- these includes; Gaviscon, mylicon for gas and gas-x
  • Immodium or BRAt diet includes bananas, rice, apple sauce, toast, or tea for diarrhea symptoms.

Medications for flu and cough

  • Guaifenesin
  • Guaifenesin plus dextromethorphan
  • Cough drops
  • Acetaminophen
  • Vicks vapoRub

Drugs for allergies

  • Tylenol or acetaminophen
  • Chlorpheniramine
  • Benadryl tabs
  • Normal saline nasal sprays
  • Sinus rinse or Neti-pot
  • Zyrtec, Allegra, or Claritin

Medications for constipation

Pregnant women are vulnerable to constipation because pregnancy hormones reduce gastrointestinal motility. Reduced GIT motility increases water absorption in the large intestine, which produces hard fecal matter that is hard to pass.

You can safely use the following drugs;

  • Fiber supplements like Metamucil, Miralax, Benefiber, and Citrucel
  • Laxatives can be used occasionally- e.g., Colace and Dulcolax
  • You can use tucks for hemorrhoids
  • The mix of prune juice, Orange Juice, 7-UP

There are also some things most women worry about but are safe, these include;

  • Nutrasweet
  • Nix for head lice
  • Mosquito repellants
  • Pedicures
  • Perms
  • Sunscreen
  • Daily coffee consumption

Kindly note that a fetus is most vulnerable to teratogenesis during the first weeks of pregnancy (first 8 weeks) because this is a period when organs start developing. Thus, any teratogenic drug can cause a life-limiting anomaly.

Before using any over-the-counter medication, talk to your doctor if you are pregnant.

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