Because physicians don’t conduct experiments on pregnant women, we can never guarantee the safety of any medicine in pregnancy. For the most part, then, we advise avoiding any medications that may be unnecessary, even more so in the first trimester when the baby is still developing new tissues and organs.
However, many medications are used commonly during pregnancy and are not thought to pose any problems; and many more medicines may have some risks but are necessary to treat serious medical problems which pose even bigger risks if left untreated.
Here are some common medicines and remedies that you should feel comfortable using:
Headaches. Tylenol. Occasionally, for tension-type headaches, other prescriptions drugs are available.
Nausea. Vitamin B6 (25 mg three times per day); Unisom SleepTabs (half a tablet during the day or a whole at night), Benadryl, Reglan, Phenergan and Zofran.
Heartburn. Mylanta, Maalox, Mylicon, Tums, Rolaids, and other drugs such as Zantac or Pepcid are also safe.
Diarrhea. Kaopectate or Imodium (don’t treat for the first 24-48 hours).
Constipation. Milk of Magnesia, Fibercon, Metamucil, Citrucel, Miralax, Colace.
Leg Cramps. Milk, dairy products, calcium supplements, and hydration.
Cold Symptoms. Tylenol. For nasal congestion: Humidifiers, saline drops, Sudafed (if not hypertensive), Afrin, nasal spray, Benadryl. For sore throat: Cepacol lozenges, etc.
Vaginal yeast infection. Monistat 3 or 7, Gyne-Lotrimin.
Gas. Gas-X, Mylicon.
Insect bites, rashes. Benadryl cream, Calamine.