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Medication & Pregnancy

As a general rule, no drug should be taken during pregnancy unless the benefit of that medication is significant. The first 12 weeks of a pregnancy are the most crucial time for development of the baby. Therefore, no medications (other than prenatal vitamins) should be taken unless the benefit outweighs the risks.

Medications safe to take during pregnancy:

Headache, Fever Tylenol
Cold, Stuffy Nose, Cough Saline Nasal Spray, Neti Pot, Sudafed (only AFTER first trimester), Mucinex
Allergies Benadryl, Zyrtec, Claritin
Sore Throat Cepacol, Chloraseptic Lozenges
Heartburn Tums, Mylanta, Maalox, Pepcid, Zantac, Tagamet
Gas Gas-X, Phazyme
Constipation Metamucil, Colace, Surfak, Milk of Magnesia, Miralax, Dulcolax Suppository
Diarrhea Immodium
Hemorrhoids Tucks, Anusol HC, Preparation H
Rash, Poison Ivy Benadryl, Hydrocortisone Ointment

Multivitamins, Mineral Supplements, and Low-Dose Aspirin:

  • Take a prenatal vitamin that includes at least 800 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid, 200-400 IU of Vitamin D, and 220 mcg of iodine.
  • Take one low-dose (81 mg) aspirin daily. Begin by 12 weeks gestation. This will decrease the risk of pre-eclampsia.
  • If you do not consume two to three servings of dairy daily, take a calcium supplement (1200 mg).
  • Choline – can promote fetal brain development. This is found in eggs, beef liver, and chicken liver.

Skincare Products:

The following are minimally absorbed into the bloodstream following topical use, so are likely safe to use during pregnancy:

  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Clindamycin
  • Erythromycin
  • Salicylic acid (if applied to intact skin)
  • Sunscreens (oxybenzone, octocrylene, octisalate)
  • Tropical self-tanning products
  • Hair color/Highlights – as long as you are in a well-ventilated area while color is being applied.

Avoid the following skincare products:

  • Tretinoin
  • Retinoids
  • Hydroquinone

Also Avoid:

  • Oil-based paint fumes
  • Insecticides (OK to use Deet-containing insect repellant)
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Exhaust fumes
  • Large doses of vitamins
  • Unusual herbs (Saint John’s Wort, Don Quai, Ginseng, Yarrow, Pennyroyal, Ephedra, Licorice Root)
  • Cat feces (due to toxoplasmosis)