Taking Allergic Medications during Pregnancy: Is It Safe or Not?

Are Allergy Medications Safe During Pregnancy?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Allergies are common and so is taking allergy medications. But you may have to think twice before taking one if you are pregnant. Living with allergies is not easy, and at times, OTC allergy medication may seem like the only solution to curb its symptoms, but it may not be the best idea during pregnancy.

While most allergy drugs may be fine to take during pregnancy, when pregnant, you will want to check with your doctor before you continue with your allergy (or any other) medication.

Should Pregnant Women Take Allergy Medicines?

Strangely, in many women, allergic symptoms disappear during their pregnancy, but that may not be true for all pregnant women. Now if you are pregnant and have an allergy, you are likely to wonder if you should avoid allergy medication. The answer would be yes, but there are ways to deal with it with or without antihistamines during pregnancy.

Is It Safe to Skip Allergy Medication When Pregnant?

As the saying goes, prevention is the best medicine. So, the best way is to stay away from the cause of them and take preventive measures. Of course, you can’t control certain allergies such as pollen allergies. However, you can reduce its impact by wearing a mask. In other cases, you can take preventive measures to make your home allergy-proof.

It is always better to consult with your doctor. Depending on the severity of your symptoms your doctor will prescribe the medication you should take. If your symptoms are light, then your doctor may recommend alternative treatments.

Allergy during Pregnancy

What Kind of Allergy Medicine Is Safe During Pregnancy?

No allergy medicines are entirely safe during pregnancy. However, some of the common and the best allergy medicines during pregnancy with no known harm are oral antihistamines such as chlorpheniramine, cetirizine. Avoid consuming allergy drugs during your first trimester, as this is the phase when the foetus undergoes crucial development. However, always consult with your doctor before using. Below are some of the points one should bear in mind while taking allergy drugs:

  • Over-the-Counter (OTC) Antihistamines

These allergy tablets are safe to use during pregnancy as long as you use them as directions. Some of these OTC allergy tablets during pregnancy include loratadine, cetirizine, diphenhydramine. 

  • Decongestants When Combined With Antihistamines

Since there are not enough evidence supporting their safety, it’s better to avoid antihistamines nasal spray, and other decongestants combined with antihistamines.

Which Medicated Nasal Sprays Can You Use?

You can opt for nasal sprays instead of tablets during pregnancy. Cromolyn sodium or steroid allergy nasal sprays are safe for pregnancy as the solution usually doesn’t travel across your body.

Can You Take Allergy Shots when Pregnant?

Allergy shots are not recommended during pregnancy as there is a risk of anaphylaxis and other potential harm to the foetus due to the continued use of allergy shots.

How to Relieve Allergy Symptoms Naturally

Whether your allergy symptoms are mild or severe, it is best to try relieving them naturally in addition to your prescribed medication. Below are a few alternatives allergy remedies during pregnancy:

  • Saline spray: Saline spray, commonly known as saltwater, can relieve your nasal congestion without causing any mess or harm.
  • Limit your outdoor activities: If pollen or other outdoor allergens are the culprits behind your allergy, then it would be a smart choice to limit your outdoor activities.
  • Move your body: Exercise or yoga can be your best to relieve your nasal congestion. Consult with your obstetrician about the exercises you can perform in addition to the allergy pills while pregnant.

Ideally, you should say no to unnecessary medications, especially, when you are pregnant. Taking precautions and following preventive measures is always recommended. But if your allergy symptoms are unbearable and making you uncomfortable, then you might have to rely on some medication. When taken under proper medical guidance, antiallergics are safe during pregnancy. More importantly, consult with your doctor before going for any medication.

Also Read: Medicines to Avoid in Pregnancy

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