There’s no doubt that along with the joys of pregnancy, women can and do experience uncomfortable side effects. If you’re feeling under the weather, you may be wondering if over-the-counter remedies are safe for you and your baby. In most cases, it’s best to avoid OTC (over-the-counter) medications particularly in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. While some medications are safe to use in limited quantities, other medicines are known to increase the chance of birth defects or other problems.
If you have questions or are considering a medication that’s not listed below, please reach out to your doctor for additional safety information. You should also call your doctor if you have a fever 100.4 F or greater, or if symptoms persist or worsen. The obstetrics specialists at Northeast Georgia Physicians Group are here to help you weigh the risks and benefits of prescription and over-the-counter medications that are safe to take during pregnancy.
Safe Over-the-Counter Medications
- Tagamet, Pepcid, Prilosec, Prevacid (If no relief from Tums or Rolaids)
- Tylenol (for Aches & Pains, limited to 2000 mg in 24 hrs)
- Chloraseptic/Cepacol Lozenges (for sore throat)
- High-bran diet and increase water
- Psyllium Colace/Docusate
- Milk of Magnesia
- Instant Ocean Spray
- BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, tea or toast)
It’s okay to see a dentist, but be sure to use an abdominal shield if having x-rays done. You can also have Novocaine® and certain antibiotics and pain medications. Be sure to notify dentist that you are pregnant.
- Gas-X/Simethicone, Tagamet,
- Pepcid, Prilosec, Prevacid (If no relief from Tums or Rolaids)
Tylenol (limited to 2000 mg in 24 hrs)
- Preparation H
- Anusol HC
- Tucks pads
- Sitz baths (with or without Epsom salts)
- Konsyl Easy Mix (daily to keep
- stools soft)
- Look for a supplement with a stool softener or add Colace/Docusate when taking iron
- Slow Fe
- Feosal Bifera
- Tylenol PM (if you also have pain & limited to 2000 mg in 24 hrs)
- Chamomile Tea
- Calcium, magnesium supplement
- Epsom salt baths
- Small, frequent meals (every 2-3 hrs)
- Sea bands (wristband)
- Vitamin B6 (25mg 3 times/daily and 1 Unisom/Doxylamine at night)
- Ginger, ginger tea
- Peppermint and cinnamon
- Warm salt water gargle (several times/day)
- Cepacol lozenges
- Vicks lozenges or spray (Avoid anything with phenol)
Herbal Supplements and Vitamins
Some alternative therapies have been found to safely and effectively alleviate some of the uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy – but ‘natural’ doesn’t always mean these herbal supplements are safe. As with any over the counter medication, it’s important to talk with your doctor about every supplement or vitamin you take while pregnant.
Prenatal vitamins are also an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Multivitamins that include folic acid are safe and important before and during the first few weeks of pregnancy because they can help prevent some birth defects. Your doctor or midwife can advise you about which type of multivitamin with folic acid you should take. Medical providers sometimes prescribe extra folic acid or iron supplements, depending on your specific situation.
The obstetrics specialists at Northeast Georgia Physicians group offer the full range of pregnancy and delivery services including prenatal screening, genetic counseling, midwifery, genetic counseling, high-risk pregnancy care and more. For questions or to schedule an appointment, call 770-219-9300 or fill out the form to the right of this page.