Pregnancy, Head Colds and Medication

Patient Expert

With all the woes of pregnancy, I didn't think things could get any worse. I only have a few weeks left, so I do see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, I caught a horrible head cold from a co-worker. It always amazes me that nobody uses their sick days when they're actually sick. Instead, they save them up and come to work sick, only to give the illness to everybody else. Anyway, that's a whole other issue. The bottom line is, I was so sick that I had to take time off from work and use a day I was saving for maternity leave. The worst part is that because of my pregnancy there's not much medication that I am allowed to take. But, I'm used to it. As a stroke survivor and on blood thinner medication, I've dealt with this issue for years.

My doctor gave me a little rundown on what's safe for me to take. It's always best to check with your own doctor before taking any medication while pregnant or on blood thinners. For headaches or mild pain, acetaminophen, like Tylenol, is okay to take every six hours as needed. Head congestion is miserable, believe me, I'm still getting over it, but you can use a saline nasal spray for relief. If you're more than three months pregnant, you could take pseudoephedrine tablets, like Sudafed. If you're in your first trimester though, you might try diphenhydramine or Benadryl. It's safer according to my doctor. As far as a sore throat, try cough drops or gargling with warm salt water or mouthwash. And for a cough, medicine with dextromethorphan and guaifenesin, like Robitussin DM, should be fine.

Again, check with your doctor before taking anything I avoided all medications in the first trimester, except those that were supposed to help with nausea. I felt little relief, so I even stopped taking those. With my cold, and despite my doctor's recommendations, I only felt comfortable taking Benadryl and Tylenol, and only at night to help me sleep. I decided to tough out my symptoms during the day. I figure it's a small price to pay to ensure my baby's safety.