Outsmarting Pregnancy Allergies

Is Allergy Medicine Safe During Pregnancy?

If your allergies interfere with eating or sleeping, you may want to discuss medication with your doctor. Although it's best to avoid unnecessary drugs during the first trimester, many allergy medications are safe during the last six months.

A nasal spray can ease congestion and won't hurt you or your baby. Your doctor may also recommend an antihistamine or a decongestant. Chlor-Trimeton is one of the safest nonprescription antihistamines but can cause drowsiness. Nonsedating antihistamines such as Claritin and Zyrtec are safe for pregnant women and are also available without a prescription.

Many doctors recommend Afrin, an over-the-counter nasal spray. Little, if any, of the drug is absorbed into your system, which makes it a good choice. Over-the-counter allergy-blocking nasal sprays such as NasalCrom are also considered safe, as are prescription nasal steroids like Nasacort AQ.

If you're already getting allergy shots, it's okay to continue them. You should not, however, start shots during pregnancy, because there's a slight risk of a serious allergic reaction.

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