What allergy med can i take while pregnant

What allergy med can i take while pregnant

Get advice first

Although you can purchase numerous hay fever medicines over the counter, it’s best to get advice from a pharmacist or GP before taking any medicine when you’re pregnant.

They’ll assess your symptoms and the benefits of taking a medicine against the risk of any side effects.

To ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high, it helps to:

  1. wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
  2. stay indoors whenever possible
  3. keep windows and doors shut as much as possible

If you decide to take hay fever medicine, you’ll generally be advised to attempt a nasal spray or eyedrops first.


Antihistamine tablets (oral antihistamines)

Antihistamine tablets can assist relieve itchy eyes, a runny nose and sneezing, but not every types are suitable to take during pregnancy, so always check with a GP beforehand.

Pharmacists are unlikely to sell antihistamines without a prescription for use in pregnancy because of manufacturers’ restrictions.

If you cannot use nasal sprays or eyedrops or they do not work for you, a GP may recommend an antihistamine tablet that does not cause drowsiness, such as:

  1. loratadine – this is generally the first choice for pregnant women because of the quantity of safety data available for it
  2. cetirizine – if loratadine is not suitable or does not work for you, a GP may recommend cetirizine, another antihistamine tablet that does not cause drowsiness

Chlorphenamine is also considered one of the safer antihistamines to take during pregnancy, but because it can cause drowsiness, loratadine and cetirizine are generally the preferred options.

For information about taking specific medicines in pregnancy, see the bumps (best use of medicines in pregnancy) website.

It’s understandable that a lot of women don’t love to take unnecessary medicines when they’re pregnant.

No mother-to-be would ever desire to put her baby at an increased risk of a birth defect caused by medication. However, allergies can make some lady so miserable that medications may be needed just so that allergy symptoms are not taking over their lives.

According to the Food and Drug istration (FDA), no medicines are considered completely safe in pregnancy. This is because no pregnant lady would desire to sign up for a medication safety study while she is pregnant.

Therefore, the FDA has assigned risk categories to medications based on use in pregnancy:

  1. Category A medications are medications in which there are excellent studies in pregnant women showing the safety of the medication to the baby in the first trimester.

    Few medications are in this category and no asthma medications are rated category A.

  2. Category B medications own been studied in pregnant animals, which show that they are relatively safe, but no human studies are available.
  3. Category D medications show clear risk to the fetus, but there may be instances in which the benefits outweigh the risks in humans.
  4. Category C medications may result in adverse effects on the fetus when studied in pregnant animals, but the benefits of these drugs may outweigh the potential risks in humans.
  5. Category X medications show clear evidence of birth defects in animals and/or human studies and should not be used in pregnancy.

Which Medications Are Safe in Pregnancy?


Medicated Nasal Sprays

Cromolyn nasal spray is helpful in treating allergic rhinitis if it is used before exposure to an allergen and prior to the onset of symptoms.

This medication is Pregnancy Category B and is available over the counter.

If Cromolyn is not helpful, a nasal steroid spray called Rhinocort Aqua (budesonide) received a Pregnancy Category B rating. Every other steroid nasal sprays are category C) and should be avoided during pregnancy.


Immunotherapy

Allergy shots can be continued during pregnancy, but it is not recommended to start this treatment while pregnant. Typically the dose of the allergy shots is not increased, and numerous allergists will cut the dose of the allergy shot by 50% during pregnancy.

Some allergists feel that allergy shots should be stopped during pregnancy given the risk of anaphylaxis and the resulting harm to the fetus.

Other than anaphylaxis, no data shows that the allergy shots themselves are actually harmful to the fetus.

How to Treat Allergies During Pregnancy

Generally speaking, allergy medications are classified as either Pregnancy Category B or Category C.

Pseudoephedrine should not be used during the entire first trimester as is linked to a birth defect called gastroschisis in which the baby's intestines are found exterior of the body.

Thanks for your feedback!

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles.

Read our editorial policy to study more about how we fact-check and hold our content precise, dependable, and trustworthy.

  • Kar S, Krishnan A, Preetha K, Mohankar A. A review of antihistamines used during pregnancy. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. ;3(2)– doi/X

  • Allergen Immunotherapy Practice Parameters. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. ; S
  • Another one-third of women discover that their allergy symptoms worsen.
  • Dykewicz MS, Fineman S, editors. Diagnosis and Management of Rhinitis: Finish Guidelines of the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
  • One-third of fortunate women discover that their allergy symptoms clear up.
  • The remaining one-third discover that their allergy symptoms are about the same as before pregnancy.

Additional Reading

  1. Allergen Immunotherapy Practice Parameters.

    Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. ; S

  2. Dykewicz MS, Fineman S, editors. Diagnosis and Management of Rhinitis: Finish Guidelines of the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

If youve lived with seasonal allergies, you know what generally eases your symptoms. But if your allergies flare up while youre pregnant, your choices narrow. Its more work to understand what wont pose a risk to your baby.

Advertising Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical middle. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.

Policy

As with most aspects of pregnancy, it’s hard to tell ahead of time how allergies might affect you. The excellent news is that whether your seasonal allergy symptoms are mild or severe, the symptoms themselves likely wont affect your baby, says OB/Gyn Salena Zanotti, MD.

But will you notice a change in your allergy symptoms while you’re pregnant? It could go either way, she says.

  1. One-third of fortunate women discover that their allergy symptoms clear up.
  2. Another one-third of women discover that their allergy symptoms worsen.
  3. The remaining one-third discover that their allergy symptoms are about the same as before pregnancy.

“It’s amusing, with pregnancy we see allergies go every three ways,” says Dr.

Zanotti. “And we see that with asthma as well.”

So however it goes for you, Dr. Zanotti suggests five tips that will assist you safely manage your symptoms while youre expecting.

Avoid allergy triggers as much as possible

Environmental allergens such as mold, pollen and animal dander are most often to blame for allergy symptoms. And they are also the most hard allergens to avoid.

Dr. Zanotti’s advice? When pollen or pollution levels are high, limit your time exterior. Hold your windows closed and turn on your air conditioning or a fan to assist limit your exposure.

Treat mild symptoms with home remedies

Nasal congestion is common during pregnancy, Dr.

Zanotti says.

Advertising Policy

Using a humidifier in your home can sometimes assist solve that problem. It won’t remove allergens from the environment, but it will moisten the air. And that can assist soothe irritated nasal passages.

You can also attempt a saline or salt water nasal spray to assist ease congestion, she says.

Immunotherapy and influenza vaccine

Allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots) is often effective for those patients in whom symptoms persist despite optimal environmental control and proper drug therapy.

Allergen immunotherapy can be carefully continued during pregnancy in patients who are benefiting and not experiencing adverse reactions. Due to the greater risk of anaphylaxis with increasing doses of immunotherapy and a delay of several months before it becomes effective, it is generally recommended that this therapy not be started during pregnancy.

Patients receiving immunotherapy during pregnancy should be carefully evaluated. It may be appropriate to lower the dosage in order to further reduce the chance of an allergic reaction to the injections.

Influenza (flu) vaccine is recommended for every patients with moderate and severe asthma.

There is no evidence of associated risk to the mom or fetus.

Attempt an intra-nasal steroid spray

If your allergies are severe and you aren’t getting relief from OTC allergy drugs, attempt an intra-nasal steroid spray, such as Nasonex® or Flonase®.

These sprays are safe to use throughout pregnancy and regular dosing is appropriate, Dr. Zanotti says.

Advertising Policy

Hang in there

If you own tried Dr. Zanotti’s treatment options but aren’t getting much relief, remind yourself that the problem is only temporary.

“It’s significant to hold in mind that neither pregnancy nor seasonal allergy symptoms final forever,” she says.

What allergy med can i take while pregnant

“There is light at the finish of the tunnel.”

Here are answers to some of the most common questions pregnant patients enquire their allergist.

Take care with allergy shots, pseudoephedrine and herbal remedies

“If you own received allergy shots before pregnancy and thought they helped your symptoms, it’s safe to continue them,” says Dr. Zanotti. “But we don’t recommend initiating allergy shots during pregnancy, because you don’t know what reaction you will have.”

She says numerous expectant mothers enquire about taking pseudoephedrine (a decongestant in such products as Sudafed®).

She recommends that you avoid it in your first trimester.

What allergy med can i take while pregnant

But you may take it in the second and third trimesters, as endless as you don’t own high blood pressure, she says.

As for herbal remedies and aromatherapy, Dr. Zanotti says their effects on pregnant women haven’t been studied sufficiently. So it’s best to steer clear of them.

Be picky about over-the-counter allergy medications

Many allergy medications aren’t safe to take during pregnancy. But loratadine (found in Claratin®) and cetirizine (found in Zyrtec® and Alleroff®) are two over-the-counter antihistamine medications that doctors consider safe to use during pregnancy and when breastfeeding, Dr.

Zanotti says.

Antihistamine medications work by blocking the effects of histamine, which is a trigger for allergy symptoms.

“These medications are really the first-line medications for treating allergies in pregnant women,” she says.

Can allergy medications safely be used during pregnancy?

Antihistamines may be useful during pregnancy to treat the nasal and eye symptoms of seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, the itching of urticaria (hives) or eczema, and as an adjunct to the treatment of serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis (allergic shock).

With the exception of life-threatening anaphylaxis, the benefits from their use must be weighed against any risk to the fetus. Because symptoms may be of such severity to affect maternal eating, sleeping or emotional well-being, and because uncontrolled rhinitis may pre-dispose to sinusitis or may worsen asthma, antihistamines may provide definite benefit during pregnancy.

Chlorpheniramine (ChlorTrimeton®), and diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) own been used for numerous years during pregnancy with reassuring animal studies. Generally, chlorpheniramine would be the preferred choice, but a major drawback of these medications is drowsiness and performance impairment in some patients..

Two of the newer less sedating antihistamines loratadine (Claritin®), and cetirizine (Zyrtec®) own reassuring animal and human study data and are currently recommended when indicated for use during pregnancy.

The use of decongestants is more problematic. The nasal spray oxymetazoline (Afrin®, Neo-Synephrine® Long-Acting, etc.) appears to be the safest product because there is minimal, if any, absorption into the blood stream. However, these and other over-the-counter nasal sprays can cause rebound congestion and actually worsen the condition for which they are used. Their use is generally limited to extremely intermittent use or regular use for only three consecutive days.

Although pseudophedrine (Sudafed®) has been used for years, and studies own been reassuring, there own been recent reports of a slight increase in abdominal wall defects in newborns.

Use of decongestants during the first trimester should only be entertained after consideration of the severity of maternal symptoms unrelieved by other medications. Phenylephrine and phenylpropanolamine are less desirable than pseudophedrine based on the information available.

A corticosteroid nasal spray should be considered in any patient whose allergic nasal symptoms are more than mild and final for more than a few days. These medications prevent symptoms and lessen the need for oral medications. There are few specific data regarding the safety of intranasal corticosteroids during pregnancy.

However, based on the data for the same medications used in an inhaled form (for asthma), budesonide (Rhinocort®) would be considered the intranasal corticosteroid of choice, but other intranasal corticosteroids could be continued if they were providing effective control prior to pregnancy.

When women with asthma and allergies get pregnant, one-third discover their asthma and allergies improved, one-third discover they worsen and one-third remain unchanged.

Allergist James Sublett, MD

Should I continue my allergy shots during pregnancy?

It is appropriate to continue allergy shots during pregnancy in women who are not having reactions to the shots, because they may lessen your allergic or asthma symptoms.

There is no evidence that they own any influence on preventing allergies in the newborn. It is not generally recommended that allergy shots be started during pregnancy.

To summarize: It is extremely significant to monitor closely any asthma or allergic problems during your pregnancy. In the vast majority of cases, you and your kid can glance forward to a excellent outcome, even if your asthma is severe, so endless as you follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. At the extremely first signs of breathing difficulty, call your doctor.

Remember the harm of providing an inadequate supply of oxygen to your baby is a much greater risk than taking the commonly used asthma medications.

The best way to take control of your allergies and own a healthy pregnancy is to speak with an allergist.

This sheet was reviewed for accuracy 4/17/

If sneezing, sniffling and itchy eyes began plaguing you for the extremely first time during pregnancy, you may be wondering whether having a baby bump triggered seasonal allergies.

If you are a known allergy sufferer, you’re probably wondering if and how your pregnancy might affect your symptoms.

For one, pregnancy-related nasal congestion, not allergies, could be behind every the sneezes and stuffiness. But how can you tell the difference? Here’s what you need to know about allergies during pregnancy, including what medications are safe to take while you’re expecting.

Additional Reading

  1. Allergen Immunotherapy Practice Parameters. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. ; S
  2. Dykewicz MS, Fineman S, editors. Diagnosis and Management of Rhinitis: Finish Guidelines of the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

If youve lived with seasonal allergies, you know what generally eases your symptoms.

But if your allergies flare up while youre pregnant, your choices narrow. Its more work to understand what wont pose a risk to your baby.

Advertising Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical middle. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

As with most aspects of pregnancy, it’s hard to tell ahead of time how allergies might affect you. The excellent news is that whether your seasonal allergy symptoms are mild or severe, the symptoms themselves likely wont affect your baby, says OB/Gyn Salena Zanotti, MD.

But will you notice a change in your allergy symptoms while you’re pregnant?

It could go either way, she says.

  1. One-third of fortunate women discover that their allergy symptoms clear up.
  2. Another one-third of women discover that their allergy symptoms worsen.
  3. The remaining one-third discover that their allergy symptoms are about the same as before pregnancy.

“It’s amusing, with pregnancy we see allergies go every three ways,” says Dr. Zanotti. “And we see that with asthma as well.”

So however it goes for you, Dr. Zanotti suggests five tips that will assist you safely manage your symptoms while youre expecting.

Avoid allergy triggers as much as possible

Environmental allergens such as mold, pollen and animal dander are most often to blame for allergy symptoms.

And they are also the most hard allergens to avoid.

Dr.

What allergy med can i take while pregnant

Zanotti’s advice? When pollen or pollution levels are high, limit your time exterior. Hold your windows closed and turn on your air conditioning or a fan to assist limit your exposure.

Treat mild symptoms with home remedies

Nasal congestion is common during pregnancy, Dr. Zanotti says.

Advertising Policy

Using a humidifier in your home can sometimes assist solve that problem. It won’t remove allergens from the environment, but it will moisten the air. And that can assist soothe irritated nasal passages.

You can also attempt a saline or salt water nasal spray to assist ease congestion, she says.

Immunotherapy and influenza vaccine

Allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots) is often effective for those patients in whom symptoms persist despite optimal environmental control and proper drug therapy.

Allergen immunotherapy can be carefully continued during pregnancy in patients who are benefiting and not experiencing adverse reactions. Due to the greater risk of anaphylaxis with increasing doses of immunotherapy and a delay of several months before it becomes effective, it is generally recommended that this therapy not be started during pregnancy.

Patients receiving immunotherapy during pregnancy should be carefully evaluated. It may be appropriate to lower the dosage in order to further reduce the chance of an allergic reaction to the injections.

Influenza (flu) vaccine is recommended for every patients with moderate and severe asthma.

There is no evidence of associated risk to the mom or fetus.

Attempt an intra-nasal steroid spray

If your allergies are severe and you aren’t getting relief from OTC allergy drugs, attempt an intra-nasal steroid spray, such as Nasonex® or Flonase®.

These sprays are safe to use throughout pregnancy and regular dosing is appropriate, Dr. Zanotti says.

Advertising Policy

Hang in there

If you own tried Dr.

Zanotti’s treatment options but aren’t getting much relief, remind yourself that the problem is only temporary.

“It’s significant to hold in mind that neither pregnancy nor seasonal allergy symptoms final forever,” she says. “There is light at the finish of the tunnel.”

Here are answers to some of the most common questions pregnant patients enquire their allergist.

Take care with allergy shots, pseudoephedrine and herbal remedies

“If you own received allergy shots before pregnancy and thought they helped your symptoms, it’s safe to continue them,” says Dr.

Zanotti. “But we don’t recommend initiating allergy shots during pregnancy, because you don’t know what reaction you will have.”

She says numerous expectant mothers enquire about taking pseudoephedrine (a decongestant in such products as Sudafed®).

She recommends that you avoid it in your first trimester. But you may take it in the second and third trimesters, as endless as you don’t own high blood pressure, she says.

As for herbal remedies and aromatherapy, Dr. Zanotti says their effects on pregnant women haven’t been studied sufficiently. So it’s best to steer clear of them.

Be picky about over-the-counter allergy medications

Many allergy medications aren’t safe to take during pregnancy.

What allergy med can i take while pregnant

But loratadine (found in Claratin®) and cetirizine (found in Zyrtec® and Alleroff®) are two over-the-counter antihistamine medications that doctors consider safe to use during pregnancy and when breastfeeding, Dr. Zanotti says.

Antihistamine medications work by blocking the effects of histamine, which is a trigger for allergy symptoms.

“These medications are really the first-line medications for treating allergies in pregnant women,” she says.

Can allergy medications safely be used during pregnancy?

Antihistamines may be useful during pregnancy to treat the nasal and eye symptoms of seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, the itching of urticaria (hives) or eczema, and as an adjunct to the treatment of serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis (allergic shock).

With the exception of life-threatening anaphylaxis, the benefits from their use must be weighed against any risk to the fetus. Because symptoms may be of such severity to affect maternal eating, sleeping or emotional well-being, and because uncontrolled rhinitis may pre-dispose to sinusitis or may worsen asthma, antihistamines may provide definite benefit during pregnancy.

Chlorpheniramine (ChlorTrimeton®), and diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) own been used for numerous years during pregnancy with reassuring animal studies.

What allergy med can i take while pregnant

Generally, chlorpheniramine would be the preferred choice, but a major drawback of these medications is drowsiness and performance impairment in some patients.. Two of the newer less sedating antihistamines loratadine (Claritin®), and cetirizine (Zyrtec®) own reassuring animal and human study data and are currently recommended when indicated for use during pregnancy.

The use of decongestants is more problematic. The nasal spray oxymetazoline (Afrin®, Neo-Synephrine® Long-Acting, etc.) appears to be the safest product because there is minimal, if any, absorption into the blood stream. However, these and other over-the-counter nasal sprays can cause rebound congestion and actually worsen the condition for which they are used.

Their use is generally limited to extremely intermittent use or regular use for only three consecutive days.

Although pseudophedrine (Sudafed®) has been used for years, and studies own been reassuring, there own been recent reports of a slight increase in abdominal wall defects in newborns.

What allergy med can i take while pregnant

Use of decongestants during the first trimester should only be entertained after consideration of the severity of maternal symptoms unrelieved by other medications. Phenylephrine and phenylpropanolamine are less desirable than pseudophedrine based on the information available.

A corticosteroid nasal spray should be considered in any patient whose allergic nasal symptoms are more than mild and final for more than a few days. These medications prevent symptoms and lessen the need for oral medications.

There are few specific data regarding the safety of intranasal corticosteroids during pregnancy. However, based on the data for the same medications used in an inhaled form (for asthma), budesonide (Rhinocort®) would be considered the intranasal corticosteroid of choice, but other intranasal corticosteroids could be continued if they were providing effective control prior to pregnancy.

When women with asthma and allergies get pregnant, one-third discover their asthma and allergies improved, one-third discover they worsen and one-third remain unchanged.

Allergist James Sublett, MD

Should I continue my allergy shots during pregnancy?

It is appropriate to continue allergy shots during pregnancy in women who are not having reactions to the shots, because they may lessen your allergic or asthma symptoms.

There is no evidence that they own any influence on preventing allergies in the newborn. It is not generally recommended that allergy shots be started during pregnancy.

To summarize: It is extremely significant to monitor closely any asthma or allergic problems during your pregnancy. In the vast majority of cases, you and your kid can glance forward to a excellent outcome, even if your asthma is severe, so endless as you follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. At the extremely first signs of breathing difficulty, call your doctor.

Remember the harm of providing an inadequate supply of oxygen to your baby is a much greater risk than taking the commonly used asthma medications.

The best way to take control of your allergies and own a healthy pregnancy is to speak with an allergist.

This sheet was reviewed for accuracy 4/17/

If sneezing, sniffling and itchy eyes began plaguing you for the extremely first time during pregnancy, you may be wondering whether having a baby bump triggered seasonal allergies.

If you are a known allergy sufferer, you’re probably wondering if and how your pregnancy might affect your symptoms.

For one, pregnancy-related nasal congestion, not allergies, could be behind every the sneezes and stuffiness. But how can you tell the difference?

What allergy med can i take while pregnant

Here’s what you need to know about allergies during pregnancy, including what medications are safe to take while you’re expecting.


Decongestants

Pseudoephedrine (known by the brand name Sudafed and others) is the preferred oral decongestant to treat allergies during pregnancy. Classified as Pregnancy Category C, pseudoephedrine is known to hazardous in certain situations.


Antihistamines

Older antihistamines, such as chlorpheniramine, are the preferred agents to treat allergic rhinitis during pregnancy and are both Category B medications.

Newer antihistamines such as over-the-counter loratadine (Claritin, generic forms) and cetirizine (Zyrtec, generic forms) are also Pregnancy Category B medications.

A newer prescription antihistamine that is Pregnancy Category B is Xyzal (levocetirizine).


RELATED VIDEO: