Allergy Meds and Pregnancy - Do They Mix? What About Natural Alternatives?

allergies.pngIt's spring allergy season! If you're an allergy sufferer, you know what this means, as you are one of thousands who dread this time of year.  If you're pregnant during allergy season, you may be wondering, "What can I do? What is safe to take?" Thankfully, there are a variety of options. 

How to Ease Allergy Symptoms During Pregnancy

With the help of MotherToBaby -- the professional scientific society of experts that provides the most cutting-edge and up-to-date information about the risks of medications, chemicals, herbal products, illicit drugs, diseases and much more during pregnancy and while breastfeeding -- we want to share with you which medications are considered safe to take for allergy relief in pregnancy. Researchers at MotherToBaby have found that first generation antihistamines (i.e. the ones that have been around the longest, like chlorpheniramine or diphenhydramine) have relatively reassuring pregnancy profiles, and are often preferred for having the most pregnancy data. Claritin (loratadine) is a second generation antihistamine, but has still been around for a long time and its overall pregnancy data has been reassuring. For those whose allergies trigger asthma symptoms, it is especially important to consider treatment. It would, however, be best to skip the "D" component (oral decongestant) of antihistamines during the first trimester due to possible, but unproven, small concerns.

Of course, as with anything taken in pregnancy, talk to your doctor first. 

Loratadine (Claritin)

Risk of miscarriage? "Probably not. A study of 161 women taking loratadine during the first trimester did not show any differences in the rates of miscarriage."

Risk of birth defects? "It is unlikely that loratadine would cause an increased chance for birth defects."

Risk of other pregnancy problems? "Loratadine is not expected to cause other pregnancy problems."

To learn more details about loratadine, check out the MotherToBaby fact sheet

Cetirizine (Zyrtec)

Risk of miscarriage? "Studies on a small number of pregnancies showed no increase in miscarriage, premature delivery (having the baby before 37 weeks), or low birth weight."  

Risk of birth defects? "It is unlikely. Studies involving over 1,300 babies born to mothers who took cetirizine in the first trimester did not show an increased chance of birth defects."

Risk of other pregnancy problems? "Cetirizine is not expected to cause other pregnancy problems. Studies on a small number of pregnancies showed no increase in miscarriage, premature delivery (having the baby before 37 weeks), or low birth weight."

To learn more details about cetirizine, check out the MotherToBaby fact sheet.

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

Risk of birth defects? "It is unlikely that diphenhydramine would cause an increased chance for birth defects. Most studies show no increased chance of birth defects with the use of diphenhydramine in early pregnancy. While one study suggested an increased chance of several types of birth defects, the study does not prove causation and these findings have not been confirmed."

Risk of other pregnancy problems? "At recommended doses, diphenhydramine has not been shown to cause problems in pregnancy. There are rare reports of problems with the use of diphenhydramine in the third trimester. These reports usually involve using more of the medication than is recommended or using it for long-term (chronic) use."

To learn more details about diphenhydramine, check out the MotherToBaby fact sheet.

Fexofenadine (Allegra)

Risk of miscarriage? "There are no studies that have looked at whether fexofenadine can increase the chance for a miscarriage."

Risk of birth defects? "So far, studies on both fexofenadine and terfenadine have not found an increase in birth defects with use of these medicines."

Risk of other pregnancy problems? "No studies have looked at whether fexofenadine could cause other pregnancy complications."

To learn more details about fexofenadine, check out the MotherToBaby fact sheet.

Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton)

Risk of miscarriage? "At this time, it is not known if taking chlorpeniramine would make it more difficult for a woman to get pregnant or if it would increase the chance of a miscarriage."

Risk of birth defects? "It is unlikely that chlorpheniramine would cause an increased chance for birth defects. Most studies find no overall increased chance of birth defects with the use of chlorpheniramine in early pregnancy. While two studies found a small increased chance for different types of birth defects, no pattern has been detected. At this time, reports describing birth defects with first trimester chlorpheniramine cannot be considered proof of risk and it is likely that these problems were due to chance."

Risk of other pregnancy problems? "There are no data to suggest chlorpheniramine can cause pregnancy complications."

To learn more details about chlorpheniramine, check out the MotherToBaby fact sheet.

 

There are, of course, many non-drug, natural remedies, prevention strategies, and treatments for allergies. For more information, check out this article from Reader's Digest or this one, from Wellness Mama. Even with natural treatments, like those that recommend the use of dietary changes or essential oils, it's best to talk first with your care provider. If all else fails, there are simple changes you can make like, limiting time outdoors, not opening your house windows when the pollen count is high, and taking a shower and/or changing clothes after spending time outdoors, that can help reduce your seasonal allergy symptoms. 

0 Comments

To leave a comment, click on the Comment icon on the left side of the screen.  

Connect with Us
Facebook Twitter Pintrest Instagram YouTube

Download our App
Your Pregnancy Week by Week
Find A Lamaze Class
Lamaze Online Parent Education
Lamaze Video Library
Push for Your Baby

Recent Stories
Thoughtful Holiday Gifts for Expectant and New Parents

Organic Cotton Is Kind of a Big Deal - Now, Go Add it to Your Gift List!

Your Second Trimester