Allergy Medicine Safe pregnancy Women
by St. Luke's Women's Center on April 11, 2012
After our unusually warm winter, followed by a wet March, the trees, grasses and molds are in hyper drive, releasing spores and pollen into the air. With that, many people are starting to suffer from seasonal allergies. Even if you have never suffered from allergies, you may develop symptoms while you are pregnant. Other women find their allergies reduce or entirely disappear during pregnancy. If you are one of unlucky ones who has the classic symptoms – stuffy head, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, coughing – you may wonder if it’s safe to take allergy medication to relieve your symptoms while pregnant.
Medications are graded by classes based on their level of safety for pregnant women and their fetuses. Class A is the safest and Class D has been shown to be harmful to fetuses. Allergy medicines, such as antihistamines (e.g. Benadryl), decongestants (e.g. Sudafed) or nasal sprays (e.g. Afrin), fall into Class B, meaning they are considered safe during pregnancy, although studies in humans may not be available or may only have included a small number of pregnant women.
If you suffer from severe allergies and have been taking immunotherapy injections with an allergist before you got pregnant, you should tell him or her that you are pregnant so s/he can monitor your dose.
Here are some suggestions that may relieve your allergy symptoms without any medications. You should always talk with your doctor or health care provider before taking any medications or using “natural” therapies.
Avoid triggers and exposure. Try to stay indoors and keep windows closed on windy days when pollen counts are high. Avoid activities like raking leaves. Ventilate moist areas of your home, such as bathrooms, if you have mold allergies. You may also want to consider using a HEPA filter in your heater, air conditioner and vacuum cleaner.
Exercise. Regular exercise can reduce nasal inflammation.
Rinse your nasal cavity. You may have seen neti pots or saline (salt water) rinse solutions in the pharmacy. You mix a solution of saline and distilled or sterilized water and inject it into one nostril as it drains out the other. Be sure to use distilled, filtered or previously boiled water. Never use water straight out of the tap. Follow the instructions carefully.
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