Safe Medications to Take While Pregnant

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Navigating the changes in your body during pregnancy can be tricky enough, never mind having to start thinking for two. To help ease some of that burden, here is a list of common over-the-counter medications that are safe to take during pregnancy should you need some relief!

Antacids and simethicone

Antacids for heartburn like Maalox, Mylanta and Tums, as well as Gas-X and Mylicon for gas pains and bloating, are safe over-the-counter drugs to take while pregnant.


Mucinex, Robitussin, and Vicks VapoRub

If you're plagued with the dreaded cold, these over-the-counter cold meds are all safe to take, along with Vicks 44 Cough Relief, and Robitussin DM.

What to watch out for: any medication containing alcohol and the decongestants pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine, which can affect blood flow to the placenta.


For pain, headache relief, and fever reducer, steer clear of NSAIDs (like Advil, aspirin, and Motrin) and opt for aspirin-free Tylenol. Ibuprofen has been assigned a "pregnancy risk category" by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and is considered category D in the third trimester, which means there's significant evidence that by taking it in the third trimester, you could harm your baby. 


Claritin and Benadryl

If you're pregnant and suffer from allergies, have no fear: common OTC allergy medications, like Claritin and Benadryl are safe to take. Other allergy medications, including Tavist ND, Triaminic Allerchews, and Zyrtec are also safe.


Metamucil, Fiber-Lax, Citrucel, Imodium, Colace, and Preparation H

Constipation, hemorrhoids, and diarrhea are all unfortunate, but common, side effects of pregnancy. To help you get through these uncomfortable issues, you can take any kind of psyllium, like Metamucil, to help with constipation; stool softeners like Colace, and Dulcolax; Maalox Anti-Diarrheal, Imodium, and Pepto Diarrhea Control; and, finally, hemorrhoid creams like Anusol, Preparation H, and Tucks.


Benadryl, Maximum Strength Unisom SleepGels, Nytol, Sominex

Being comfortable while pregnant are two things you typically won't find together in the same sentence. Unfortunately, getting a good night's sleep may become a rare occurence as your belly grows, leading you towards nights of insomnia. Luckily, Benadryl, Maximum Strength Unisom SleepGels, Nytol, and Sominex are all safe OTC medications to help you get to sleep a little easier.


Which OTC meds should you avoid while pregnant?

While not exhaustive, here is a list of common OTC brand medications you should avoid taking during your pregnancy:

  • Excedrin Migraine
  • Kaopectate
  • Dimetapp Cold and Fever
  • Advil, Motrin
  • Aleve
  • Actifed Cold and Sinus, Sudafed Nasal Decongestant, Triaminic AM Decongestant

Source: Consumer Reports