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Nasal decongestant sprays are administered to the nasal passages as tiny drops of liquid. The ingredients in each nasal decongestant spray are quite different. Nasal Decongestant sprays are commonly used for sinusitis and allergies. But you should know about the ingredients of the nasal spray to ensure if it is safe to use during pregnancy.
Can You Use Nasal Spray in Pregnancy?
Use of nasal sprays for sinusitis, cold, or allergies for a long time is not recommended for any individual. These nasal decongestant sprays might make you addicted to it. Hence, the suggested time period for usage is about 2-3 days.
The safety of use of nasal spray during pregnancy depends on which type/category of nasal spray is being used. Except for the natural saline nasal spray (that contain saltwater only), every pregnant woman should consult a doctor before using any nasal decongestion spray.
Generally, the nasal decongestion spray works by constricting blood vessels in the nasal lining. There is a very high chance that these medications might cause constriction in blood vessels in the placenta and womb after entering the bloodstream. Hence, choosing the right nasal spray is very important.
Which Nasal Sprays are Safe for Pregnancy?
While a few medicines are unsafe during pregnancy, there are several FDA approved nasal sprays to cure sinus congestion. There are some pregnancy categories assigned by the FDA which is used in the FDA’s Drug Formulary. These categories help expectant women in differentiating between unsafe and safe nasal sprays. Following are the FDA-assigned categories.
- Category A –The medications in this category have been adequately studied. The medications do not demonstrate a risk to the unborn baby in the 1st trimester of pregnancy and there is no proof of risk in the later trimesters.
- Category B – Researches on animal reproduction do not indicate a risk to the unborn baby and there is inadequate research done on expecting women.
- Category C –Animal reproduction research shows that the medicine has a bad effect on the unborn baby and there is inadequate research done for humans. But the potential advantages of the drug may permit the use of the drug in expectant women regardless of the potential risks.
- Category D –There is potential evidence of risk on human babies based on adverse reaction data from research and studies conducted in humans. But the potential advantages of the may permit the use of the drug in expectant women regardless of potential risks.
- Category X –Foetal abnormalities have been shown by studies conducted on humans and animals. There is potential evidence of risk on human babies based on adverse reaction data from research and studies conducted in humans and the risks involved in the use of the drug in expectant women outweighs the potential advantages which the drug might have.
Before administering any kind of nasal spray medications, you should learn about the various categories of medicines. This will help you to understand which sprays contain saline, steroids, blocks blood flow to the sinuses or are absorbed into the body. Also, do not take any medicines without doctor’s prescription.
Here are some examples of safe nasal sprays during pregnancy approved by the FDA Pregnancy Categories:
- Prescription only nasal spray: Rhinocort Aqua (Category B)
- Over the counter (OTC) nasal spray: Nasacort (Category C)
- Another way to calm your sinuses is to use saline nasal spray during pregnancy. These nasal sprays are made only from salt and water. These saline solutions might not always remove your blockage for a long time but will help in decreasing any mucus build-up and will also moisturize the dry nasal passages instantaneously.
Pregnant women as recommended to use a saline nasal spray to calm your sinuses. If you have to use other nasal decongestant sprays, it is highly recommended that you consult your doctor and get a prescription for it.