Cold medicine while pregnant


Cold Medicine and Pregnancy

Dr. Ross suggests:

  • Hot showers
  • A vaporizer
  • A saline nasal wash
  • Chicken soup

Common Cold Medicine and Pregnancy: What’s Safe?

If you can’t get enough relief from those home remedies, it’s possible to use common cold medicines with a few precautions. First, guidelines say it’s best to avoid all medication during the first trimester.

“In the first 12 weeks the baby is making its organs, and so in general, if people don’t need to take something during that time it would be great if they didn’t,” says Dr. Ross. “ more serious consequences at the beginning of the pregnancy.”

Next, Ross says the safest bet is to look for medications with the fewest ingredients possible.

“The main thing about medicine is it’s best to take the ingredient you need for the symptom and not the combination, one-size-fits-all,” says Ross. “It’s better to separate your ingredients and take the ones that you need at a usual adult dose.”

There are also specific medicines to avoid during pregnancy:

  • Ibuprofen (such as Advil, Motrin)
  • Aspirin
  • Any herbal medications or remedies

Herbal medications in particular aren’t regulated, so it’s difficult to know exactly what ingredients they contain and whether they’re safe. Herbs can cross the placenta and reach the baby, so it’s best to avoid them.

Common Cold Medicine and Pregnancy: The Safe List

The best option is always to talk to your doctor before taking any medication during your pregnancy, but here are some medications that have been found to be generally safe for pregnant women:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)
  • Loratadine (Claritin)
  • Zinc lozenges
  • Chloraseptic spray (but a salt water gargle is just as effective, with no risks)

Of these possibilities, Ross recommends Sudafed the most for the common cold. “Sudafed is okay for a decongestant after the first trimester unless the woman has high blood pressure,” says Ross. “Sudafed sometimes is the medication that packs the most bang for its buck.”

Remember, the simpler the better. Ross recommends that pregnant women steer clear of products that contain multiple ingredients or tackle a combination of symptoms, such as Nyquil, Robitussin DM, and Claritin-D.

A bad cough is certainly annoying, but you might also be concerned that you will cough so hard it will hurt the baby, or that your water will break. Ross says there’s no need to worry — your baby will be fine.

Common Cold Medicine and Pregnancy: Check With Your Doctor

Ross cautions pregnant women to be careful not to assume that what you have is the common cold. If it’s actually an illness like the swine flu, it can pose a much more serious problem for pregnant women. If you experience fever and muscle aches, or if symptoms don’t subside within about 10 days, see your doctor to see if it’s an illness that requires special treatment.

Yes, many over-the-counter cough and cold medications are considered safe for pregnant women and their developing babies. But that doesn’t mean you should just grab something at the drugstore and take it. Call your doctor before you take anything, even if you think it’s safe.

Is It Safe to Use NyQuil While I’m Pregnant?

Each of the drugs contained in Nyquil has different effects on a pregnancy and on you. A medication’s side effects can affect how you feel during your pregnancy, so they’re also important to consider.

Acetaminophen: Effects on pregnancy

Acetaminophen is commonly used during all stages of pregnancy. A mother’s short-term use of the drug at the recommended dosage does not seem to pose a risk to her pregnancy. The American Academy of Family Physicians considers acetaminophen safe for use in pregnancy to relieve pain and fever.

Still, be sure to avoid taking acetaminophen in very high doses or on a continuous basis. This type of usage could lead to liver damage or other harmful effects for both you and your pregnancy.

Acetaminophen: Side effects

Acetaminophen does not have many common side effects. However, it does have more serious side effects. These are all rare, but can include:

  • liver damage
  • red, peeling, or blistering skin
  • rash
  • hives
  • itching
  • swelling of your face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, lower legs, ankles, or feet
  • hoarseness
  • trouble breathing or swallowing

Dextromethorphan: Effects on pregnancy

The American Academy of Family Physicians suggests that there are no major risks of using dextromethorphan during any trimester of pregnancy. It should be safe to use throughout your pregnancy when the benefits outweigh the risks. If you’re concerned, your doctor can talk to you about your specific use.

Dextromethorphan: Side effects

The more common side effects of dextromethorphan can include:

  • nervousness
  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • drowsiness
  • restlessness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain

More serious side effects are rare, but they can include:

  • severe rash

Doxylamine: Effects on pregnancy

Research has shown doxylamine to be safe in all stages of pregnancy, including the first trimester. In fact, doxylamine is often used with pyridoxine (vitamin B6) to relieve nausea and vomiting caused by pregnancy.

Doxylamine: Side effects

The more common side effects of doxylamine can include:

  • dry mouth, nose, and throat
  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • increased chest congestion
  • headache
  • excitement
  • nervousness

More serious side effects of doxylamine should go away when you stop taking the drug. These effects can include:

  • blurry vision
  • trouble urinating

Phenylephrine: Effects on pregnancy

Phenylephrine can cause harmful effects such as birth defects. Phenylephrine may be most dangerous to a pregnancy during the first trimester. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, you should avoid taking this drug during the first trimester of your pregnancy. Only take it during any other time during your pregnancy if your doctor says it’s okay.

Keep reading: Dangers of phenylephrine and pregnancy “

Phenylephrine: Side effects

The more common side effects of phenylephrine can include:

  • nervousness
  • dizziness
  • sleeplessness

A more serious side effect of phenylephrine is increased blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, do not take phenylephrine unless your doctor recommends it. This is especially true for women with pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy).

Can you take NyQuil while breastfeeding?

Share on PinterestIt is a good idea to speak to a doctor before using NyQuil.

Different NyQuil products contain different ingredients. Some of the ingredients are safe to use while breastfeeding, while others may cause adverse effects. So, it is best to speak to a doctor or pharmacist before using NyQuil while breastfeeding.

However, women who are breastfeeding should be wary of using liquid NyQuil products, as they contain alcohol as a nonactive ingredient.

The active ingredients include:


This is a pain relief medication that treats:

  • aches and pains
  • fever
  • a headache
  • a sore throat

The American Academy of Pediatrics state that acetaminophen is safe to take when breastfeeding. Tylenol also contains acetaminophen.

The tiny amount of acetaminophen that passes into a woman’s breast milk is unlikely to affect the baby, and side effects are rare. There is, however, a possibility that the infant may develop a rash. The rash clears up when the woman stops taking the medication.


Dextromethorphan helps treat a cough. There are no studies on the effects of this drug on breastfeeding infants.

While some dextromethorphan might pass into breast milk, it is likely safe for infants over 2 months.


All NyQuil products contain doxylamine, an antihistamine that helps alleviate a runny nose and sneezing and may help with a cough. According to some research, doxylamine is safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

However, a phone study found that 10 percent of breastfeeding women reported that their infants became irritable and experienced colicky symptoms after using antihistamines. Just 1.6 percent of the infants experienced drowsiness. None of the infants needed medical attention.

Other possible side effects of antihistamines on babies include:

  • changes in infant sleeping patterns
  • hyperexcitability
  • excessive sleepiness
  • excessive crying

Taking high doses of doxylamine or using it long-term might increase the risk of side effects in breastfed babies. Taking too much doxylamine can decrease a woman’s supply of breast milk.

People should talk to their doctor before using doxylamine, as the risks may be higher than we know.


This medication relieves nasal and sinus congestion. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) advise that the body absorbs only about 40 percent of phenylephrine, meaning it is unlikely to reach a breastfed child in large amounts.

The research on phenylephrine is limited, however, so the NIH suggest choosing an alternative, especially when breastfeeding a preterm infant or newborn.

Phenylephrine may also reduce the amount of breast milk that the body makes.

Other forms of NyQuil

The following NyQuil products contain the following active ingredients:

  • Vicks NyQuil Cough Suppressant (dextromethorphan, doxylamine)
  • Vicks NyQuil Cold & Flu (acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, doxylamine)
  • Vicks NyQuil Severe Cold & Flu (acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, doxylamine, phenylephrine)

Other types of NyQuil may contain alternative active ingredients. Women who are breastfeeding should check labels carefully and speak to a doctor or pharmacist if they are unsure about the safety of a particular product.

I took nyquil severe while pregnant

Pregnant and taken asperin. . In this post, MomJunction tells you about the safety of Nyquil for kids, its side-effects, and precautions to take while using the drug. I had severe withdrawals even coming off very slowly and under doctors supervision. Feeling a little sick? Want to know if taking Nyquil while breastfeeding is safe? Unfortunately for sick mommies, taking Vicks Nyquil while breastfeeding is not a good idea. are unplanned–any woman who drinks alcohol should use birth control. It all depends on the ingredients found in each. Vicks NyQuil Severe Cold & Flu Nighttime Relief Liquid delivers maximum symptom fighting ingredients to relieve your worst cold symptoms, among over-the-counter cold & flu medicines. However, it might be safe in breast milk, depending upon the health, age and size of your child. Simon, MD, said in a statement. To my surprise, it expired a year ago. Q: Can I take DayQuil while pregnant or breast-feeding? Dec 09, 2019 · What should I avoid while taking Tylenol Cold & Flu Severe? Avoid drinking alcohol. I have no psychological disorders, no history of abuse, I have regular diet, regular physical activity, I do not even drink at all and absolutely no drugs. View the chart to read more about NyQuil active ingredients. Mar 29, 2009 · What are the Side effects in drinking NyQuil while pregnant? Answer. Here’s what you need to know about taking NyQuil while pregnant, taking cold and flu medicines in general during your pregnancy, and ways to battle the cold or flu naturally. Will I be fine? The chemicals in NyQuil don’t break don’t into something harmful, right? Thank you for your help Is Nyquil addictive? Can I take tylenol while pregnant? Can you take a bath with a tampon in? Can I drink while I am taking ciprofloxacin; How do I properly take care of myself? Can I breastfeed and take hoodia? Can I take ibuprofen before an arthrogram? Can I take medication before surgery? Is it good to take naps?? How fast can i get pregnant with metformin Go Buy Now! Best choice. Utilization of its dynamic fixing in early pregnancy might be What you need to know about taking drugs while pregnant: The possible health risks for both So, while it’s reasonable to treat a fever or the occasional severe headache with For example, Vick’s Nyquil Cold & Flu Liquid contains alcohol. . Drinking beer or any other alcohol while pregnant can have permanent adverse effects on the child. It there is no improvement in symptoms Is Advil safe to take when pregnant? more than 4,000 of whom took NSAIDs during their first trimester. i took multi-symptom cold severe after 2 days of sufferings from cold. People usually get sick 12 hours to three days after they eat something contaminated. Taking TRINTELLIX while pregnant in your third trimester may cause your newborn baby to have withdrawal symptoms that cause a certain type of breathing problem called Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) Feb 13, 2018 · Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Sudafed; it is unknown if Sudafed will harm a fetus. NYQUIL COLD & FLU LIQUID prescription and dosage sizes information for physicians and healthcare During or within 14 days of MAOIs. Patients should never take Tylenol and Nyquil together! Both products contain acetaminophen as an active ingredient, so if they mix them, they may exceed the allowable daily dose (more than 4g), causing potentially fatal condition called Acetaminophen’s induced hepatic necrosis. You have probably heard others share personal stories about eating deli meats and everything turning out fine. Is nyquil and dayquil safe for pregnant women 1 month pregnant? Is neo penetran safe for pregnant women? i am 10 weeks pregnant? Had aspirin and wine before i knew i was pregnant. For a significant number of women, the sleep disruption may be so severe as to require some type of intervention. Every winter, it attacks and makes many of us sick with headaches, fever, congestion, runny noses, sinus pressure and more. I remember being so sick that my older kids would bring the baby in to nurse every couple of hours, and I was so out of it that I didn’t even know when she nursed. Dec 18, 2018 · Avoid consuming alcohol while taking doxylamine. I really can’t overemphasize how useful they are when it comes to dosing and possible drug interactions and complications. He lived in Long Island, but other than that he was a nice guy—a good boyfriend who had his own car. A major and underappreciated problem with drug testing is that the stupid tests don’t even work. While pregnant with my now 9 week old, I developed a cold that turned into a terrible illness. Higginbotham on can u take nyquil while pregnant: It is just Benadryl (diphenhydramine) in a more expensive box. If you are pregnant, considering having a child, or nursing, discuss this with your rheumatologist before beginning this medication. Leaving them at home is not an option – they are in camp until 6 and I’ll have the whole day to myself to recover. U. KarmaCBDOils oil selection is one of the safest producers you can turn to for your supply of CBD Nov 14, 2017 · FDA answers consumer questions on the antiviral flu medication, Tamiflu. Alleviate the pain and pressure of sinus headaches and relieve chest congestion with TYLENOL® Sinus Severe Daytime Caplets. Mixing ibuprofen and Nyquil , fine . While sleepwalking might be otherwise benign, some users have driven and wrecked their vehicles under the influence of such medications. You should also talk to your doctor before using the liquid forms of NyQuil Cold & Flu and NyQuil Cough during pregnancy. I had a horrible cough and headache. and I tested positive this month for pregnancy,and also I’m terrified because I didn’t know I was pregnant and I took ibuprofen and NyQuil earlier this month FEB. have severe The Web: You’re not sneezy — you’re stuffy. Nov 09, 2018 · Nyquil Severe Cold & Flu Dosage Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Nyquil while pregnant 3rd trimester “ Can i take tamiflu and nyquil. Sleeping was out of the question for him and for me! I picked up the bottle of Vicks Nyquil Severe Nighttime Berry Max Strength Liquid Cold & Fly Relief at my local Kmart. S. These drugs, however, should not be used indiscriminately or for extended periods of time. People taking Bentyl should avoid alcoholic drinks as the two together could have an increased sedative effect. (But note that you should avoid taking unnecessary drugs ” I took Sudafed and then took Robitussin CF during my 2ww, OOPs. Joel on i took nyquil while pregnant: In general you want to avoid all medications during pregnancy that you don’t have to take. I am taking sertraline, but I would like to stop taking it before becoming pregnant. I am curious to know if this would lead to any issues with my pregnancy. Im not sure while stimming but when I was pregnant before my m/c RE said I could have Claritin but not the D and no sudafed. What if i just found out i was pregnant and i took 2 diet pills and the box said do not take when pregnant? What does your belly look like 8 weeks pregnant and first time pregnant? Is it normal for a pregnant woman belly to go down while still pregnant? ELI5:what happens if you take NyQuil during the day? I’m being 100% serious. Severe liver damage may occur if you consume three or more alcoholic drinks a day while using Theraflu products. Or worse, both. Is Nyquil Safe With Breastfeeding?. This study is created by eHealthMe based on reports of 31 people who take Sudafed and Dayquil from Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and is updated regularly. Under the supervision of a prescriber, up to 4,000 mg a day of acetaminophen can be taken. Dec 18, 2018 · If you are pregnant and struggling to get some sleep before your baby comes, see your provider before taking melatonin or any other supplement 5. For adults, acetaminophen can be taken 4 to 6 times throughout the day as long as the total amount taken is not more than 3,000 mg for the whole day. Which is actually very little, if taken by the recommended dosage. She was insatiable, not that I minded. When I called my doctor, she asked me to take Tylenol. They say people took drugs when they didn’t. Do not use NyQuil if breastfeeding as acetaminophen, pseudoephedrine, and other NyQuil ingredients may pass into breast milk, harming your newborn. In addition, use should be confined to only those products that are appropriate for the symptoms. Many women experience some degree of sleep disturbance during pregnancy. This drug does not require a doctor’s prescription, but you might want to know if it is safe to be used on children. On December 12th due to still having severe nausea which started as I was coming off the amitriptyline, my doctor ordered a ultrasound on my pancreas, gallbladder, spleen, and liver. 1 For adults, acetaminophen can be taken 4 to 6 times throughout the day as long as the total amount taken is not more than 3,000 mg for the whole day. Do not take aspirin during the last 3 months of pregnancy unless it has been ordered by your doctor Jun 05, 2017 · My mother just found out she has diabetes. Most of the NyQuil preparations do not have substance that can thin the mucus so Mucinex can accomplish this. I had gotten super sick & my doctor actually prescribed a prescription strength NyQuil; I was on it for 2 weeks & I was pregnant. It contains 200 mg of guaifenesin, an expectorant that helps clear mucus and phlegm from the chest. Since Mucinex reduces the phlegm and makes it less sticky while NyQuil quiets cough and beacause there are no significant interactions between these two drugs, patients can take them together. Read on to learn about deciding to use medicine while pregnant. Has anyone else ever taken DayQuil while pregnant? It says its safe but I still Jun 13, 2017 · However, it may be unsafe if used in combination with temazepam — brand name Restoril — a treatment for insomnia. It is made up of two main components: Hydrocodone, which is related to codeine, and acetaminophen, which is a less potent pain reliever but increases the effects of hydrocodone. There are some safe options for sleep assistance, but whether or not to take melatonin while pregnant is controversial enough that it should be discussed with your provider first. MD. Dec 06, 2018 · Can I Take Benadryl While Pregnant? Benadryl while pregnant is safe for use. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking NyQuil. Someone famous in Source Title. The good news is that the probability of experiencing a problem from deli meats is very We do not recommend drinking alcohol while taking any medication. Doxylamine, found in some forms of Nyquil, is safe when used in combination with pyridoxine, although products that contain doxylamine contain other agents that might be unsafe during pregnancy. Feb 04, 2009 · Tylenol cold multi-symptom severe safe during second trimester fo pregnancy? I was having cold, cough, headache, bodyache, nasal congestant. I recently saw a patient in the hospital who took two medications for a headache that would not go away. From allergy and sinus, to mucus and cough relief – find the product right for you. Do not take aspirin during the last 3 months of pregnancy unless it has been ordered by Buy Vicks NyQuil Severe Cold & Flu Nighttime Relief Flavor Liquid and enjoy FREE When using DayQuil or NyQuil products, carefully read each label to ensure correct dosing. All were aged 50 and older. The instinct to protect your growing baby can cause a pregnant woman a lot of confusion, but this caution is all for a good reason, especially when it comes to Nov 26, 2014 · Can you take Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) while pregnant? Sudafed (generic name pseudoephedrine) has been considered safe to use in pregnancy for treating cold, cough, nasal congestion, sinus and flu symptoms for a long time. Additionally, crimes, as well as self-harm, have been reported. Apr 22, 2017 · You must be aware that many people are going to give you their opinions on what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t while you are pregnant. Two studies, published in peer-reviewed journals, show that Oscillococcinum reduces the severity and shortens the duration of flu-like symptoms. Please read the drug facts on the package and speak to your healthcare professional with questions about alcohol consumption with your medical treatments. She is in therapy for post-traumatic stress syndrome. Since it’s the end of the day, sleeping aid companies such as Belsomra, Union and Nyquil, may take advantage of the opportunity to advertise their medications at this time of the 24 hours day we have. I stressed myself out for the entire day, but my midwife said one time won’t hurt the baby, but not to take it again. And while most* expired medications are unlikely to be harmful, it is important to analyze the risks versus the benefits of using them. This is most likely to happen later on in pregnancy. Also, too much use of salicylates during the last 3 months of pregnancy may increase the length of pregnancy, prolong labor, cause other problems during delivery, or cause severe bleeding in the mother before, during, or after delivery. Apr 18, 2017 · The common cold causes more than just a little misery. What medicines can you take during pregnancy? NyQuil SEVERE Cold & Flu Nighttime Relief Liquid is available in Original or Berry . if you took very small amounts which should not do much, if any, harm to your baby. Tip: Always talk with your doctor before you take any medication while pregnant. there might be restrictions as to if you can or cant ); and conditions where the stomach produces too much acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (tumors in Aug 28, 2019 · How long the person took Ambien: When an individual takes Ambien as prescribed for a short period of time, the person is less likely to experience withdrawal symptoms, and those symptoms will not be acute or severe. It is for allergies but its still has a antihistamine in it which will dry you up if you have drainage. Depending on how old your baby is and how severe your case is, your while you’re also taking cold and flu products like Nyquil, DayQuil, 22 Jul 2019 But not all sleep aids are created equal ― and one popular drug many people turn to for shuteye, Nyquil (or similar over-the-counter cold 13 Mar 2019 Whenever you come down with a pesky cold or a case of the flu, you probably reach for a familiar bottle in your medicine cabinet when it comes . Read the directions. Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, pain, or sleep medication. This patient was confused about why the overdose happened because she only took two different products to help her headache. Vicks Nyquil Severe Cold And Flu | The Procter & Gamble Manufacturing Company . DayQuil does not contain guaifenesin. As I reached for the bottle of Tylenol, I remembered that many medications have harmful side effects in combination with alcohol, and I’d just had a margarita at the restau It’s hard to say how being pregnant may affect your asthma symptoms. While you may have your preferences for the best and most enjoyable sexual position, the Kama Sutra is not a handbook on getting pregnant naturally! Is it Safe to take Tynenol for Headaches and Nyquil for Cough at the same time? Unanswered Questions. i took nyquil severe while pregnant

Colds During Pregnancy

When you’re expecting, your immune system runs at a lower speed than usual — which is actually a good thing, since it keeps your growing baby protected and stops your body from fighting the fetus off as a foreign entity. The downside of this immune suppression, though, is that your body can’t ward off colds as well as it normally does, making you more vulnerable to the stuffy nose, cough and sore throat that come with the virus.

The upside to even the nastiest cold symptoms is knowing your baby isn’t experiencing any of them. In fact, the womb’s environment keeps her completely sheltered from cold bugs.

As for you, colds are mostly an uncomfortable annoyance best managed with rest, fluids, patience and a quick call to your practitioner to make sure he or she is aware of all your symptoms, including any fever. If necessary, your doctor can also steer you towards cold medications that are considered safe during pregnancy. Here’s what you need to know to feel better.

What are the symptoms of a cold during pregnancy?

A cold usually begins with a sore or scratchy throat that lasts for a day or two, followed by the gradual appearance of other symptoms, including:

  • A runny, then later stuffy, nose
  • Lots of sneezing
  • Mild fatigue
  • A dry cough, particularly near the cold’s end, which may continue for a week or more after other symptoms have subsided
  • Little or no fever (usually under 100 degrees Fahrenheit)

Weirdest Pregnancy Symptoms

What causes colds during pregnancy?

Colds are most commonly caused by a type of virus known as a rhinovirus, which is easily passed from person to person. There are 200 or more cold viruses, which is why you keep getting them.

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How long does a cold during pregnancy last?

Cold symptoms generally last 10 to 14 days. And yes, sorry to say, you can get a brand new cold just as the last one is ending, so if it feels like you always have the sniffles, you may be right.

However, if your symptoms persist past 10 to 14 days, or seem to be getting progressively worse, let your practitioner know. He or she will want to make sure your never-ending cold isn’t evolving into something more serious, like a secondary infection or the flu.

Is it a cold — or the flu?

You can usually tell the difference between a cold and the flu by taking stock of the symptoms:

  • A cold, even a bad one, is milder than the flu. Its symptoms come on gradually, and there’s usually little to no fever. The sore throat that usually starts off the cold goes away after a day or two, leaving the runny nose and cough as the main symptoms.
  • Influenza, aka the flu, is more severe and comes on more suddenly than a cold. Symptoms of the flu include a high fever (usually 101 degrees F to 104 degrees F or higher), headache, chills, a sore throat that generally worsens by the second or third day (unlike with a cold), often intense muscle soreness, and general weakness and fatigue, which can last a couple of weeks or longer. You may also experience occasional sneezing and a cough that can become severe.

What can you do to feel better if you get a cold during pregnancy?

Although many of the medications that relieve cold symptoms are typically off-limits during pregnancy, you don’t have to suffer with a runny nose and hacking cough when you’re pregnant. Some of the most effective cold remedies don’t come from the pharmacy shelf. Here’s how to feel better faster:

  • Rest. Taking a cold to bed doesn’t necessarily shorten its duration, but if your body is begging for some rest, be sure to listen.
  • Stay active. If you’re not running a fever or coughing and you feel up to it, do some light to moderate, pregnancy-safe exercise, which may actually help you feel better faster.
  • Keep eating. Sure, you probably don’t have much of an appetite, but eating as healthy a diet as possible when you do feel up to it can help with some of your cold symptoms.
  • Focus on foods with vitamin C. They can help boost your immune system naturally. Try all types of citrus fruits (oranges, tangerines, grapefruit), strawberries, melon, kiwi, mango, tomatoes, bell peppers, papaya, broccoli, red cabbage and spinach.
  • Chow down on more zinc. It may also help boost the immune system; pregnant women should aim to get 11-15 milligrams each day from all sources, including your prenatal vitamin. Fill up on turkey, beef, pork, cooked oysters, eggs, yogurt, wheat germ and oatmeal.
  • Drink up. Fever, sneezes and a runny nose will cause your body to lose fluids that you and your baby need. Warm beverages will be particularly soothing, so keep a thermos of a hot drink like ginger tea or a hot soup like chicken broth next to your bed. Try to drink enough to stay well hydrated too — your pee should be the color of pale straw. Water and cold juices also work fine, if that’s what you’re thirsting for.
  • Supplement safely. Taking your prenatal vitamin, which contains vitamin C and zinc, is smart even when you’re fighting a cold. Just don’t take any other supplements beyond your prenatal without your doctor’s approval.
  • Sleep easy. Breathe easier when you’re lying down or sleeping by elevating your head with a couple of pillows. Nasal strips, which gently pull your nasal passages open, making breathing easier, may also help. They’re sold over the counter and are completely drug-free.
  • Moisturize your air. If dry conditions in your home aggravate your sensitive nasal passages and throat, misting the room with a cold or warm air humidifier at night can help. Adults can use either kind, but for safety’s sake, don’t ever use a warm-air version in a baby’s or toddler’s room.
  • Use saline nose drops, sprays or rinses. These help moisten your nasal passages; since they’re un-medicated, they’re completely safe to use as often as you need. Just avoid neti pots, since they’re more apt to spread germs.
  • Gargle with saltwater. Gargling with warm salt water (1/4 teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of warm water) can ease a scratchy or sore throat, wash away post nasal drip and help control a cough.
  • Eat honey. A couple of teaspoons straight — or mixed in hot water with lemon — has been shown to help suppress the kind of dry cough that often comes with and after a cold at least as effectively as an OTC cough syrup.

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What can pregnant women take for a cold? Safe medications for colds during pregnancy

Before you reach for anything in your medicine cabinet when you’re in bed with a cold, reach for the phone to call your practitioner so you can ask which remedies are considered safe in pregnancy, as well as which will work best in your case.

Be sure to double-check any prescription or OTC medication or supplement recommended by a different health care provider, such as a therapist, nutritionist or pharmacist, with your practitioner to make sure it’s safe. And watch out for multi-tasking meds, like general pain relievers, which could contain ingredients that aren’t cleared for pregnant women. Some remedies you’re used to taking may not be safe during pregnancy.

So what cold medications are generally considered safe during pregnancy? Here’s a list:

  • Acetaminophen: If you’re running a fever or suffering from nasty body aches or headaches, it’s generally considered safe to take products containing acetaminophen (like Tylenol) over the short-term.
  • Cough medications: Expectorants (like Mucinex), cough suppressants (such as Robitussin or Vicks Formula 44), vapor rubs (like Vicks Vapo Rub) as well as most cough drops are considered safe during pregnancy, but ask your practitioner about dosing.
  • Some nasal sprays: Most steroid-containing nasal sprays are fine to use during pregnancy, but check with your doctor about brands and dosing. Plain saline drops and sprays are always safe to take when you’re expecting and can help clear and moisturize a stuffy nose.
  • Some antihistamines: Benadryl and Claritin often get the green light during pregnancy, but be sure to check with your practitioner before taking them. Some doctors will advise staying away from those medications in the first trimester.

Always check with your practitioner before you take any medication — prescription, over the counter or homeopathic. And don’t put off calling the doctor or refuse to take a medication he or she prescribes because you think all drugs are harmful in pregnancy. Many are not. But do be sure the prescribing doctor knows you’re expecting.

Medications to avoid during pregnancy

Some of the medications that could help with cold symptoms are off-limits to moms-to-be because they may complicate pregnancy and cause harm to their unborn baby, although further research needs to be done. Don’t panic if you happened to inadvertently take one of these medications. It’s probably fine, but just let your doctor know. Off-limit meds include:

  • Some pain relievers and fever reducers. Studies suggest an association between analgesics such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) and naproxen (Aleve), especially during the third trimester, and pregnancy complications, including low birth weight and preterm delivery.
  • Most decongestants. Most practitioners say to stay clear of decongestants such as Claritin-D, Sudafed or DayQuil. Even those experts who say it’s okay to take some decongestants will probably caution that they’re only safe to use after the first trimester, and only in a limited amount (for example, once or twice daily for no more than a day or two).
  • Some nasal sprays. Steer clear of non-steroidal nasal decongestant sprays containing oxymetazoline (like Afrin) unless given the green light by your practitioner. Many will tell you to avoid these sprays completely while you’re expecting, while others will advise only limited use (one or two days at a time) after the first trimester.
  • Alternative or homeopathic remedies. Don’t take echinacea, supplemental vitamins like zinc supplements or other over-the-counter herbal remedies without medical approval.

How to prevent a cold during pregnancy

Besides avoiding anyone who is visibly sick, wash your hands with soap and water a little more often — and scrupulously — than you did before. Don’t just wash and shake; use a towel to make sure your hands are completely dry when you’re done. In a pinch, carry an alcohol gel with 60 percent alcohol on the label for quick sanitizing on the go.

But don’t blame yourself if you still come down with a cold — or several — during your pregnancy, despite your best efforts. Viruses are almost impossible to avoid, especially in the winter. There are many joys of being pregnant, but alas, being even more vulnerable to nasty cold bugs isn’t one of them. And just remember: This, too, shall pass.

When to see a doctor

Call your doctor if:

  • You have a fever over 101 degrees F
  • Your cold is severe enough to interfere with eating or sleeping
  • You’re coughing up greenish or yellowish mucus
  • You have a cough with chest pain or wheezing
  • Your sinuses are throbbing
  • If symptoms last more than 10 to 14 days; it’s possible that your cold has progressed to a secondary infection, and a prescription medication may be needed for your safety and your baby’s

Medicine Guidelines During Pregnancy

Medicine Guidelines During Pregnancy

Although some medicines are considered safe during pregnancy, the effects of other medicines on your unborn baby are unknown. Certain medicines can be most harmful to a developing baby when taken during the first three months of pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant.

Illegal Drugs/Alcohol

Street drugs are not good for your health, but they are even worse for your unborn baby’s health, since drugs are passed to your baby while you are pregnant. Illegal drugs such as angel dust, cocaine, crack, heroin, LSD, marijuana, and speed increase the chance that your baby is born with many possible problems. When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol or uses drugs during her pregnancy, so does her baby. These substances can pass through the placenta and to the baby through the umbilical cord. Alcohol, tobacco, and drugs can lead to premature birth, birth defects, low birth weight, placental abruption, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, miscarriage, stillbirth, and developmental/behavior problems. According to the March of Dimes, there is no amount of alcohol or marijuana that is proven to be safe during pregnancy. You may know some women who drank regularly during pregnancy and had seemingly healthy babies. You may know some women who had very little alcohol during pregnancy and had babies with serious health conditions. Every pregnancy is different and drinking alcohol may hurt one baby more than another. Due to their small liver, babies cannot break down the alcohol as well as you can. Heroin is a street drug made from poppy plant seeds and is usually injected with a needle, but it can be smoked or snorted. Using heroin during pregnancy can be dangerous, but don’t stop taking it without getting treatment from your healthcare provider first. Quitting suddenly can cause severe problems. There are drugs that help you gradually reduce your dependence on heroin such as methadone or buprenorphine.

Let your healthcare provider (e.g. physician, pharmacist) know if you have ever used illegal drugs or if you have an addiction to any drugs so he or she can minimize the risk to your baby. We are here to offer treatment and support. You may also call 1.800.662.4357 (National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Service) for more information.

Prescription medicine guidelines

If you were taking prescription medicines before you became pregnant, please ask your healthcare provider about the safety of continuing these medicines as soon as you find out that you are pregnant.

Your healthcare provider will weigh the benefit to you and the risk to your baby when making his or her recommendation about a particular medicine. With some medicines, the risk of not taking them might be more serious than the potential risk associated with taking them.

For example, if you have a urinary tract infection, your healthcare provider might prescribe an antibiotic. If the urinary tract infection is not treated, it could cause long-term problems for both the mother and her baby. If you are prescribed any new medicine, please inform your healthcare provider that you are pregnant. Be sure to discuss the risks and benefits of the newly prescribed medicine with your healthcare provider.

Type of Remedy: Allergy

Safe Medications to Take During Pregnancy

  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®)
  • Loratidine (Claritin®)
  • Cetirizine (Zyrtec®)

Type of Remedy: Cold and Flu

Safe Medications to Take During Pregnancy

  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)*
  • Dextromethorphan (Robitussin®)*
  • Guaifenesin (Mucinex® ) *
  • Vicks Vapor Rub® mentholated cream
  • Mentholated or non-mentholated cough drops
  • (Sugar-free cough drops for gestational diabetes should not contain blends of herbs or aspartame)
  • Pseudoephedrine ( after 1st trimester)
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol®)*
  • Saline nasal drops or spray
  • Warm salt/water gargle

*Note: Do not take the “SA” (Sustained Action) form of these drugs or the “Multi-Symptom” form of these drugs. Do not use Nyquil® due to its high alcohol content.

Type of Remedy: Diarrhea

Safe Medications to Take During Pregnancy

  • Loperamide ( after 1st trimester, for 24 hours only)

Type of Remedy: Constipation

Safe Medications to Take During Pregnancy

*Occasional use only

Type of Remedy: First Aid Ointment

Safe Medications to Take During Pregnancy

  • Bacitracin
  • Neomycin/polymyxin B/bacitracin (Neosporin®)

Type of Remedy: Headache

Safe Medications to Take During Pregnancy

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Type of Remedy: Heartburn

Safe Medications to Take During Pregnancy

  • Aluminum hydroxide/magnesium carbonate (Gaviscon®)*
  • Famotidine (Pepcid AC®)
  • Aluminum hydroxide/magnesium hydroxide (Maalox®)
  • Calcium carbonate/magnesium carbonate (Mylanta®)
  • Calcium carbonate (Titralac®, Tums®)
  • Ranitidine (Zantac®)

*Occasional use only

Type of Remedy: Hemorrhoids

Safe Medications to Take During Pregnancy

  • Phenylephrine/mineral oil/petrolatum (Preparation H®)
  • Witch hazel (Tucks® pads or ointment)

Type of Remedy: Insect repellant

Safe Medications to Take During Pregnancy

  • N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET®)

Type of Remedy: Nausea and Vomiting

Safe Medications to Take During Pregnancy

  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Vitamin B6

Type of Remedy: Rashes

Safe Medications to Take During Pregnancy

  • Diphenhydramine cream (Benadryl)
  • Hydrocortisone cream or ointment
  • Oatmeal bath (Aveeno®)

Type of Remedy: Sleep

Safe Medications to Take During Pregnancy

  • Diphenhydramine (Unisom SleepGels®, Benadryl)

Type of Remedy: Yeast Infection

Safe Medications to Take During Pregnancy

  • Miconazole (Monistat®)

*Please note: No drug can be considered 100% safe to use during pregnancy.

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Safe Medicines During Pregnancy

Always check with your Women’s Care physician if you have questions about taking medications during pregnancy. Listed below are a few recommendations for over-the-counter options that you may take while pregnant.

Find a Women’s Care Physician

Allergy Medications




Sudafed PE

Tylenol Allergy Multi Symptom

Allergy Eye Drops

Medicated Allergy Eye drops not recommended during pregnancy; may use Saline only

Nasal Spray

Medicated Nose Sprays not recommended during pregnancy; may use Saline

Cold & Flu

TheraFlu Flu & Sore Throat

Cough & Cold

Robitussin DM

Cough & Cold: Cold Rubs

Halls Menthol Cough Suppressant / Oral Anesthetic

Vicks VapoRub Cough Suppressant / Topical Analgesic

Cough & Cold: Cold Drops

Halls Menthol-Cough Suppressant / Oral Anesthetic Plus Medicine

Ricola Cough Suppressant Throat Drops

Vicks Menthol Cough Suppressant / Oral Anesthetic Drops

Cough & Cold: Sore Throat Relief

Cepacol Dual Relief Sore Throat Spray

Cepacol Sugar Free Extra Strength Sore Throat Lozenges with Pain Numbing Relief

Cepacol Maximum Strength Sore Throat Lozenges

First Aid: Anti-Itch Cream

Aveeno Active Naturals Anti-Itch Concentrated Lotion

Aveeno Calamine & Pramoxine HCl Anti-Itch Cream with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal Steroid Free

Benadryl Original or Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream or Gel

Calamine Lotion

Cortaid Anti-Itch Cream, Maximum Strength1% Hydrocortisone

Cortizone-10 Maximum Strength Anti-Itch Cream

Eucerin Calming Itch Relief Treatment

Gold Bond Medicated Body Lotion Extra Strength or Anti-Itch Cream

Lanacane Maximum Strength Anti-Itch Cream

Sarna Anti-itch Lotion

Lice Treatment


Pain Relief

*Long-term chronic use is not advised.

Tylenol Regular or Extra Strength

Tylenol Extra Strength PM Pain Reliever /Sleep Aid

Tylenol PM Extra Strength Pain Reliever /Nighttime Sleep Aid

Hemorrhoid Care


Preparation H

Medicated Wipes with Aloe

Hemorrhoidal Cream with Maximum Strength Pain Relief

Hemorrhoidal Ointment

Hemorrhoidal Suppositories

Tucks Witch Hazel Hemorrhoidal Medicated Pads

Stomach Remedies: Antacids


Antacid with Calcium, Chewable Tablets

Extra Strength Antacid, Chewable Tablets

Extra Strength Liquid Antacid

Maalox Maximum Strength Multi-Symptom Antacid/Antigas, Chewable Tablets or Liquid

Mylanta Antacid / Anti-Gas

– Regular Strength

– Maximum Strength

– Ultimate Strength Pepcid AC Original Strength Acid Reducer 10 mg, Tablets


– Extra Strength

Multi-Symptom Antacid & Anti-Gas

Plus Extra Strength Antacid & Anti-Gas

Tagamet 200mg


– Regular Strength

E-X 750 Extra Strength

E-X 750 Extra Strength

Ultra 1000 Maximum Strength

Zantac 75mg

Stomach Remedies: Anti-Diarrheal

* Call before taking to assess medical condition.

Imodium A-D Anti-Diarrheal

Imodium A-D Advanced Anti-Diarrheal /Anti-Gas Caplets

Maalox Anti-Diarrheal Caplets

Stomach Remedies: Fiber Supplements

Citrucel Methylcellulose Fiber Therapy for Regularity

Fiber Choice Fiber Supplement

Metamucil Fiber Laxative

Stomach Remedies: Gas Relief

Gas-X Extra Strength Anti-gas

Gas-X Extra Strength Anti-gas Plus Antacid with Maalox

Mylanta Regular or Maximum Strength Gas Simethicone /Anti-Gas Phazyme Ultra Strength Gas Relief

Rolaids Multi-Symptom Antacid & Anti-gas

Stomach Remedies: Nausea/Vomiting

* Contact us if you are unable to keep any food or liquids down for 24 hours.

Emetrol Nausea Relief

Vitamin B6 100mg

Sea-Band Wristbands

Stomach Remedies: Stool Softeners

Colace Stool Softener 50 mg

Colace Stool Softener 100 mg

Vaginal Yeast Infections

Monistat 7 Cream

Monistat 7 Suppositories

Medications that are safe to take for cold symptoms during pregnancy:

  1. Sore throat sprays or lozenges
  2. Dextromethorphan (Robitussin)
  3. Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  4. Cough drops
  5. Sudafed PE or products containing Phenylephrine HCL- avoid using during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy
  6. Mentholated rubs
  7. Vaporizers or saline nose drops/sprays
  8. Vitamin C

*Call your doctor if you experience a severe headache unrelieved by Tylenol or persistent vomiting or diarrhea greater than 24 hours.

How to prevent the spread of influenza and cold viruses:

  1. Wash your hands frequently, especially after shaking hands or touching anything dirty. Scrub with soap and hot water for at least 30 seconds.
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing.
  3. Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth, which may increase the chance of infection.
  4. Stay home from work and school when you are sick.
  5. Avoid sharing food, eating utensils, drinking glasses, pens and pencils, towels and other personal items.
  6. Don’t reuse or share bottles of water.

What to do if you catch a cold when pregnant

Share on Pinterest Catching a cold when pregnant is quite common so knowing which medications to choose may be of some concern.

Treating a cold usually means purchasing any number of over-the-counter medications. When pregnant, there are other things to consider for both the woman and her baby.

Medications can be a sensitive topic. The possibility of medications affecting an unborn child may worry some pregnant women. Most over-the-counter medications use the same few ingredients to treat cold symptoms.

Pain relievers

It is important to treat pain during pregnancy as it can lead to stress, high blood pressure, and even depression symptoms if left unchecked. Over-the-counter pain medications include acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen.

According to studies noted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the use of pain relievers during pregnancy should be done under direct guidance from a doctor or healthcare provider.

Studies have noted the potential risks of using pain relievers during pregnancy:

  • Prescription NSAIDs may increase the risk of miscarriage during the first half of pregnancy
  • Prescription opioids may increase the risk of birth defects when taken in the first trimester
  • Acetaminophen use during pregnancy may be linked to an increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children

The FDA note that the studies all have limitations in how they were carried out, so these may not be hard and fast rules to follow. For example, another study posted in the Official Publication of the College of Family Physicians of Canada states that acetaminophen use during pregnancy is safe.

The important thing to note is that healthcare professionals should always be involved in the decision to take any medication that relieves pain.

Cough suppressants

Cough suppressant medications such as dextromethorphan are often found in over-the-counter medications. These medications are generally considered safe for pregnant women in the correct doses, but drug-free options should always be considered the first line of defense.

Before using a cough suppressant medication, pregnant women can try using herbal or mentholated throat lozenges in order to ease a cough or sore throat.


According to a review posted to the Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherepeutics, none of the antihistamine drugs available today have been classed as safe to use during pregnancy.

Two drugs called cyproheptadine and chlorpheniramine are in a secondary category. These antihistamines have been associated with temporary symptoms in the pregnant mother but have not been linked to any birth defects when used during pregnancy.

This link does not mean that they are completely safe, but that no negative effects have been found yet. For this reason, many choose to avoid antihistamine use during pregnancy.


Studies on decongestant use during pregnancy have given mixed results.

Some studies suggest that using decongestants during the first trimester of pregnancy has been linked with a small increase in birth-related problems. However, multiple follow-up studies have failed to get these same results.

Oral decongestants are considered relatively safe to use during pregnancy, but should only be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Many of these studies are for short-term use of medications. Over-the-counter medications should not be used for any longer than needed to prevent health risks to both mother and child.

Natural remedies

Many doctors recommend nonmedicinal alternatives for treating cold symptoms. Increasing liquid intake to eight to 10 glasses per day can help to flush out the body and make people feel more comfortable. Juices and smoothies can also provide nutritional intake when people have no appetite.

Resting for longer while sick is important to give the body time focus on recovery. Lying down with their head elevated may also help with breathing and stuffiness.

Many pregnant women also use room humidifiers to help clear a stuffy nose and promote a productive cough. Warm compresses are also applied to the head, sinuses, and shoulders in order to reduce pain and congestion.

How to treat a cold when you’re pregnant

  • Cold symptoms might feel stronger or come on quicker when you’re pregnant.
  • Doctors recommend to steer clear of Advil, ibuprofen, and aspirin-based products, but beyond that any basic over-the-counter med, like Tylenol, should be OK.
  • For the average adult, a cold lasts 7 to 10 days. But when you’re pregnant, you should talk to a doctor if your cold lasts more than seven days.
  • This article was reviewed by Graham Snyder, MD, MS, who is the medical director for the Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology branch at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

You’re told to avoid lots of things while pregnant — drinking that glass of wine, going out for sushi, and, of course, getting sick. But sometimes, despite your best efforts, you feel those tell-tale signs of a cold coming on.

And since you may already experience discomfort from your pregnancy, those cold symptoms might feel stronger or come on quicker than you’re used to. But the symptoms themselves aren’t much different.

“The fatigue, sore throat, dry cough, or runny nose symptoms are likely to be the same,” says Octavia Cannon, DO, an osteopathic obstetrician and gynecologist and co-owner of Arboretum Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Plus, catching a cold probably won’t harm your baby. The CDC has a list of infectious diseases that are severe enough to cause a miscarriage or birth defects, and the common cold is not one of them. But it’s still important that you take steps to help you recover as soon as possible.

Certain over-the-counter medications are OK

Just like everyone else, you should “rest, drink plenty of liquids, and make sure that you are eating,” Cannon says. But be careful when using medications to ease the symptoms.

Cannon says to steer clear of Advil, ibuprofen, and aspirin-based products.

“Low-dose aspirin is now being used more often in pregnancy for medical indications but can cause bleeding,” she says. “Your doctor should be the only person advising the use of aspirin.”

Beyond that, any basic over-the-counter med should be OK, according to Cannon. “Usually, Tylenol products, cough syrups, cough drops, and nasal sprays are OK,” she says.

If you’re looking for more natural options, Cannon recommends tried-and-true favorites like chicken soup or vegetable broth and a humidifier to ease a stuffy nose.

“Hot teas or water with lemon and honey are also helpful,” she advises. As always, though, if you’re not sure, speak with your doctor.

For more information about what medications, dietary supplements, and herbals you can take while pregnant, the American Academy of Family Physicians has a detailed list, and the CDC is another good source.

Talk to a doctor if your symptoms last longer than 7 days

First, note when your symptoms started. A cold can last anywhere from 7 to 10 days. But when you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t let a cold go longer than seven days without talking to your doctor about your symptoms, Cannon says.

After that, keep track of the color of your mucus. “If your mucus changes from clear white to yellow or green, see your doctor right away,” she says. “If your mucus color changes, that may indicate bacterial involvement, which could turn serious quickly. Your minor cold or seasonal allergy issue could change to bronchitis or upper respiratory infection or sinusitis.”

The good news is, most pregnant women aren’t more at risk of getting a cold. “In general, I’ve found people who deal with the public — teachers, customer service, healthcare providers — are more susceptible regardless of pregnancy status,” Cannon says. “If an expectant mom doesn’t have any other risk factors, her chances are about equal to the average person.”

And to sidestep a cold in the first place, your best bet is to follow the advice you’ve been hearing for years. “Wash your hands! Seriously,” Cannon says. Also, dress for the weather and, whenever possible, stay away from people who are sick.

“Keep a positive, proactive mindset,” she says. “Don’t walk around expecting to get sick, but make sure that you do everything that you can to prevent it.”

Related stories about pregnancy:

  • Yes, pregnancy can cause acne. Here’s when you will breakout the worst and how to treat it.
  • When pregnancy cravings start and how long they last
  • Yes, Tylenol is safe for pregnancy. Here’s the right dosage
  • Can dogs sense pregnancy? Research doesn’t have a definite answer
  • Yes, you can get a flu shot while pregnant. Here’s the best time to get it.
  • Doctors debunk the 25 biggest pregnancy myths

What you need to know about taking cold meds when you’re pregnant

The common cold – never welcome at any time, least of all when you’re pregnant – is caused by a virus. Symptoms, which you will no doubt be familiar with, include cough, sore throat, mild fever, runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing. Symptoms of a cold will generally resolve within 10 days, and while medication may help you feel better, it won’t reduce the duration of the cold. It is important to increase your fluids and rest.

This guide is to help you know what you can safely so to manage symptoms of a cold during pregnancy to keep you and baby safe. If you are pregnant and feeling very unwell because of a cold, the flu or sinus problems, you should contact your doctor.

Medication safety

Throughout this article some medications have Category A written after them in brackets. A category A medication is considered safe in pregnancy. Category A medications have been taken by a large number of pregnant women and women of childbearing age, without an increase in the frequency of malformation or other direct or indirect harmful effects on the fetus having been observed.

Any medication used in pregnancy should be given at the lowest possible dose for the shortest time possible.


Flu immunisation is the best way to protect mum and baby from the flu. The flu immunisation is recommended for pregnant women and can be given at any stage of pregnancy.

Pain relief

Safe: Paracetamol (category A) may be used in pregnancy, at the recommended dose for aches, pains and fever.

Avoid: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) include aspirin, ibuprofen and diclofenac. NSAID should may be harmful in pregnancy and should only be used if advised by your doctor.

Taking antibiotics during pregnancy increases infection risk in children92160

Taking antibiotics during pregnancy increases infection risk in children

  • 05 Feb 2018

Safe: Cough suppressants are used for dry coughs, for example pholcodine (category A) or dextromethorphan (category A) and are considered safe during pregnancy. A dry, irritating cough is usually associated with a postnasal drip, where mucus from your nose runs down your throat. Keep up your fluids and drink plenty of water.

For a chesty or productive cough, an expectorant such as guaifenesin (category A) or a mucolytic such as bromhexine (category A) can be used in pregnancy.

Nasal symptoms

Safe: Steam inhalations and sodium chloride 0.9 percent (saline) nasal drops or sprays may be used to relieve a blocked nose during pregnancy.

No category: There is limited information available on use of decongestant nasal sprays in pregnancy. Short term use of the sprays is considered safe. Decongestant nasal sprays containing oxymetazoline or xylometazoline may be used for three to five days. There is an increased risk of developing rebound congestion from prolonged use of nasal decongestants.

Avoid: Oral decongestants, for example pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine.

Safe: Products with anaesthetic and antiseptic agents such as throat lozenges may be used in pregnancy. Avoid excessive use as it may cause unwanted side effects such as diarrhoea. Salt water gargles or lemon and honey drinks may also help to ease a sore throat.

Avoid: Iodine based throat gargles these the thyroid function of you and your baby.

Tanya Burgess is a registered pharmacist, mother of 3 girls and the owner of Baby Hints and Tips.

For more detailed information about suitable medications, you can read The Royal Women’s Hospital Pregnancy and Breastfeeding guide here.

For more information call the National Medicines Line on 1300 633 424 (1300 MEDICINE) with any questions. This number is not for emergencies and is only available during office hours.

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