Generally Safe Medicines
Some over-the-counter medications have been available for many years, and thus have “stood the test of time.” Homeopathic preparations are safe to take for example (but our medical opinion is that these have never been proven effective. We are only stating that they are safe to use).
For the following health conditions, we have listed some drug store medicines that are generally safe in pregnancy, and can be taken if there is a strong need:
Allergy Symptoms: Chlortrimeton, Allerest, Claritin or Claritin-D, Zyrtec. Benadryl is also safe but can lead to drowsiness. It is better to be used at night.
Backache: Tylenol, Heat or Cold applied locally (see our discussion on low back pain)
Constipation: Colace, DOSS, Metamucil, Citrucel, Fibercon, Miralax. If severe, Milk of Magnesia
Coughing: Robitussin or Robitussin DM, Mucinex, Vicks cough drops, Recola
Diarrhea: Kaopectate, Immodium AD (please note that the Immodium package says to avoid
its use during pregnancy - we disagree with this and feel that it is safe)
Fever: Tylenol, regular or extra strength. No aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Alleve, etc.
Acetominophen is the generic name for Tylenol, which has been difficult to find in some areas.
Gas Pains: Maalox Plus, Mylicon, Gas-X, Phazyme, Tums
Head Cold/URI: Contac, Dristan, Vicks Vapo-Rub, Sudafed (use with caution as it can lead to fast heart rate).
Headache: Tylenol, regular or extra strength, follow package directions. For severe or "migraine" headcahes, the non-aspirin form of Excedrin is safe (basically Tylenol plus some caffeine).
Hemorrhoids: Preparation H, Anusol HC, Tucks (witch hazel) pads, Preparation-H wipes. With hydrocortisone is also okay.
Indigestion/Heartburn: Tums, Mylanta or Maalox. If severe, Pepcid AC or Pepcid Complete, or Prilosec OTC (good for reflux or GERD)
Insomnia: Benadryl, Unisom, Tylenol PM
Itchy skin rash: Hydrocortisone 1% cream or ointment (Ringworm rash, use Tinactin or Micatin) . Benadryl ointment. Calamine or Caladryl lotion.
Lact-Aid: enzyme products, like milk or tablets (containing lactase) pose no known risk.
Leg Cramps: Calcium (Tums, CitraCal), Calcium/Magnesium combination (Trader Joe's sells Cal-Mag, a calcium-magnesium combination). Take 3 Tums at once in the evening for night-time leg cramps. If you take oral magnesium, note that it can have a laxative-like effect. Dosages might be 200 to 400 mg in the evening.
*In the Pasadena Newspaper is a column written by Dr. Gott. He has MANY readers who claim that placing a bar of soap (like Dove) under the sheet at the end of the bed near their feet helps relieve leg cramps. Please let me know if this works.
Nausea: Unisom (Sleep Tabs, not Sleep Gels), Dramamine
Sinus Congestion: Saline nasal mist. Neti-pot treatments and saline irrigation. Humidifiers can help.
We prefer avoiding Afrin and other decongestant sprays, they can lead to dependence.
Sore Throat: Sucrets lozenges, Chloraseptic spray, Recola, Listerine gargle
Vaginal Yeast Infection: Monistat 1 day or 3-day, Gyne-Lotrimin, Monistat Combination Pack