Not all medications are discouraged during pregnancy. You may have to continue a medication (such as insulin) that you were taking on a regular basis before you were pregnant, or you may need to take something for an illness that comes up before your baby is born. In many cases, not taking the medication you need can be dangerous to you and your baby.
You may want to consider getting a flu shot after about 14 weeks of pregnancy. The flu and high fevers can be dangerous to expecting moms and their babies.
Some medications are not recommended during the first trimester but may be safer at a later time in your pregnancy.
Medications that are safe during pregnancy
- Tylenol (acetaminophen) for pain
- Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for allergies
- Alcohol-free Robitussin DM for coughs
- Tums, Mylanta, or Maalox for heartburn
- Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) for colds
- Kaopectate and Imodium for diarrhea
- Monistat for yeast infections
What to avoid during pregnancy
- Multi-symptom drugs for colds, allergies, etc.
How the FDA ranks prescription medications
You may hear your healthcare provider refer to a medication as being in a particular category of safety. Medications are ranked on five levels of safety, according to the FDA.
- Category A: Tested during pregnancy and found to be safe
- Category B: Used widely during pregnancy and do not appear to cause birth defects
- Category C: Have sometimes caused birth defects in animal studies but have not been studied in pregnant women
- Category D: Known to be higher-risk and are to be avoided
- Category X: Known to cause birth defects and should never be taken
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