You're expecting a baby, but you have a lousy cold that's getting you down. Here's what you can know about safe meds in pregnancy.
While many doctors say that pregnant women should be discouraged from using over-the-counter drugs when possible (no drug or medicine that you take in pregnancy can be confirmed 100 percent safe; all medications have the potential for crossing the placenta to your baby) the common cold can get a woman down — especially when pregnant. And while doctors say the common cold is best treated with rest, fluids, a humidifier and a saltwater nasal spray, some medications are OK to take, too. For complete information about the safe over-the-counter drugs in pregnancy, see I'm Pregnant and I Have a Cold (RBC Press) by Dr. Craig V. Towers, available at Amazon for as little as $1.98 used. Note: Some liquid cold medicines contain alcohol in concentrations as high as 4.75 percent, so look for products labeled "alcohol free." SAFE over-the-counter meds for the common cold, according to Dr. Craig V. Towers: Tylenol or Tylenol Cold Considered safe, acetaminophen may be used if you're running a fever or having head ache. Robitussin DM Approved for treating coughs in pregnant women. Sudafed (pseudephedrine) Relief for cold symptoms during the day. DO NOT take the "SA" (sustained action) form of the medication or the "multi-symptom" form. What to AVOID: Pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, sodium salicylate and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). When taken in the first month of pregnancy, NSAIDs have been shown to cause some women to miscarry. Studies also infer that the use of NSAIDs in the second and third trimesters might increase the risk of birth defects.