Medicine Guidelines During Pregnancy

Most medicines taken during pregnancy cross the placenta and reach the baby. Women are usually advised to avoid medicines during pregnancy, if possible, especially during the first 3 months. That is when a baby’s organs form. But sometimes you have to take medicine to treat a health problems. When deciding whether to take a medicine during pregnancy, it’s important to find out about the possible effects of that medicine on your baby.

Before taking any medicine when you’re pregnant, including painkillers, check with your doctor.

Medicine Guidelines During Pregnancy

Medications Are Safe to Take During Pregnancy

The following OTC medications have no known harmful effects during pregnancy when taken according to the package directions.


Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
Loratadine (Claritin)
Cetirizine (Zyrtec)


Diphenhydramine cream (Benadryl)
Hydrocortisone cream or ointment
Oatmeal bath (Aveeno)

Cold and Flu

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
Dextromethorphan (Robitussin)
Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Saline nasal drops or spray


Acetaminophen (Tylenol)


Diphenhydramine (Unisom SleepGels, Benadryl)


Famotidine (Pepcid AC)
Aluminum hydroxide/magnesium hydroxide (Maalox)
Calcium carbonate/magnesium carbonate (Mylanta)
Calcium carbonate (Titralac)
Ranitidine (Zantac)

Nausea and Vomiting

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
Vitamin B6


Loperamide ([Imodium] after 1st trimester, for 24 hours only)


Methylcellulose fiber (Citrucel)
Docusate (Colace)
psyllium (Fiberall, Metamucil)
polycarbophil (FiberCon)


Phenylephrine/mineral oil/petrolatum (Preparation H)
Witch hazel (Tucks pads or ointment)

First Aid Ointment

Neomycin/polymyxin B/bacitracin (Neosporin)

Insect repellant

N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET)

Yeast Infection M

Miconazole (Monistat)

Note: No drug can be considered 100% safe to use during pregnancy.

Prescription medications you’re already taking

Before pregnancy, you may already be taking prescription medications for thyroid issues, high blood pressure, or other conditions. Speak with your doctor about continuing these medications, especially if you’re already pregnant. In many cases, you may safely take your medication during pregnancy. Sometimes you may need to either adjust dosages or switch to another medication that’s considered safer for you and baby.

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