Pregnancy-Safe Medications: How to Treat Colds, Flu, Headaches, Allergies and More

Under the weather? Here's what medications are safe to take in pregnancy -- so you can feel better fast (15 Photos)

Jennifer Kelly Geddes on Nov 16, 2012 at 7:37PM

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a Jennifer Kelly Geddes on Nov 13, 2012 at 11:22AM

Many women have heartburn for the first time during pregnancy, since hormones can cause the valve that connects your stomach to your esophagus to relax, allowing stomach acids to splash back up.

How to treat it without medicine:
Smaller, blander meals (pass on the chili for now) will help reduce heartburn. You can also drink more fluids and avoiding lying down right after meals.

Pregnancy-safe medicines:
Antacids (Maalox, Mylanta, Tums) and simethicone for gas pains (Gas-X, Mylicon) are safe OTCs; speak with your doctor about Pepcid and Pepcid AC (famotidine). These two may be possible if you have a particularly bad case of heartburn (though keep in mind they may worsen constipation in pregnancy). Zantac (ranitidine), which may cause dizziness in some women, carries the same caveat as Pepcid -- check with your doctor first. 

What to avoid:
Skip Alka-Selzter (it has aspirin); Rolaids are better, though they contain aluminum and are recommended less often than Tums. Just don't overdo the Tums, says Wolfe. "Popping too many can mess up your Ph balance of electrolytes," which can make you weak, nauseous or sick. Prilosec (omeprazole) isn't recommended during the first trimester, but if necessary, it may be okay later in pregnancy (call OTIS or ask your doctor). Bismuth (Pepto-Bismol) may be fine in the first and second trimester (check with your doctor first), but not the third, when it can increase the risk for bleeding in pregnancy.  


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