What Medications Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy?

Posted On Friday, 19 April 2019
What Medications Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy?

More than half of women experience sickness during pregnancy, making it a very common pregnancy-induced condition. The good news is that anti-sickness medication can be taken for this.

However, there are a lot of medications that should be avoided during pregnancy, which can present a problem when there are so many illnesses that can occur throughout the nine months, as well as plenty of women having preexisting conditions that they’re already on medication for.

Knowing what to avoid is important for both mother and baby’s health, but it’s also necessary to not suffer in silence and find safe, alternative medications for a happy, healthy pregnancy.

Problematic Painkillers
Pregnancy can cause various twinges and aches, particularly during the third trimester when there is more pressure on the body, as well as headaches, migraines and other pains early on caused by hormonal fluctuations. Even people who would usually avoid medications may find themselves reaching for the painkillers. Codeine should be avoided as it can lead to dependence in mothers and withdrawal symptoms in newborn babies. Moms-to-be shouldn’t take ibuprofen either as it’s been linked to miscarriages, delayed labor and hemorrhaging in both the mother and baby. Aspirin, which is used as both a painkiller and a blood thinner, should be completely avoided too. However, it’s safe to take Acetaminophen, providing a doctor gives the all clear and expectant mothers take as little of it as possible.

Dealing with Allergies
Even people who don’t usually experience allergies may find themselves with watery eyes and a runny nose during pregnancy, all thanks to those fluctuating hormones. The majority of over-the-counter tablets, syrups and other remedies should be avoided for a safe pregnancy. Brompheniramine is a common ingredient in anti-allergy medications and shouldn’t be taken. Acetaminophen, as well as being a pain reliever, can help with allergies too, but make sure it’s taken on its own and not in a combination medicine that will likely have harmful ingredients, such as Pseudoephedrine and Phenylephrine.

Hurtful Heartburn
Heartburn, indigestion or an upset stomach are very common symptoms of pregnancy. Bismuth subsalicylate is the ingredient in many medications to treat heartburn, indigestion and stomach upset, but it should be completely avoided during pregnancy. It’s safe to take antacids if they don’t have any additional ingredients, but it’s best to take a natural approach for treatment. An increase in water consumption and changes to diet can be effective, such as avoiding spicy or fatty foods, eating small meals regularly throughout the day and reducing caffeine intake.

Pregnant women should always speak to their doctor, midwife or a pharmacist if they’re not sure what medications are safe to take during pregnancy and what should be avoided. There are medicines that are generally considered safe, but other health conditions during pregnancy may make them unsafe. Importantly, mothers shouldn’t deal with illnesses, pains and other ailments in silence as there’s often a safe medicine that can help or advice can be given to reduce symptoms.

Jess Walter

Jess Walter is a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets.

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