Raj K. Syal, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.    |    Jenna A. Everson, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.    |    Holly Westmoreland, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.    |    Kellyn Rielly D.O.   

Help! I’m pregnant and suffering from a head cold! What medications can I take?

Illness during pregnancy is quite common, and it can certainly cause stress in addition to discomfort. Communicate regularly with your physician during pregnancy, as he or she will want to take everything into into consideration before prescribing certain medications for illness.

You must avoid taking any herbal supplements or other over-the-counter medications without speaking with your doctor first. If your symptoms persist, worsen, or you develop a fever of 101.4 or higher, please contact us immediately.

The following are a list of general treatments or over-the-counter medications for certain problems or illnesses during pregnancy:

Constipation

Increase intake of fiber by including all-bran cereals, beans, fruits, raisins and prunes in your daily diet. You may also supplement your fiber intake by taking the prescribed dosage of Metamucil or Konsyl. You may also try Milk of Magnesia, Surfak, or Colace and you may use a Dul-co-lax suppository or an enema. In addition, please up your water intake. Avoid coffee, tea and soda. To get a better understanding if you are taking in enough water, when you urinate, check the color of your urine.  Anything other than a clear color indicates that you are not drinking enough fluids.

Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes

Diabetes is now considered an epidemic in the United States. Most people are aware of some facts regarding diabetes; however, there are many aspects, causes and consequences related to diabetes for which the majority of people are not aware. If your blood results show an indication for diabetes, your physician will consult with you and may refer you to an endocrinologist for further testing and confirmation and appropriate long-term treatment.

Gestational Diabetes is just as it sounds: diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. That being said, you should be monitored closely for diabetes after delivery, as a small percentage of women do develop Type 2 diabetes (adult-onset).

For more information on diabetes and gestational diabetes, visit our web pages about these subjects.

Diarrhea

Start with clear liquids like 7-up, Sprite, Ginger Ale or Gatorade and then advance to bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. You may also take Imodium AD – start with ½ the suggested dose on the label. Once the diarrhea has stopped, resume a bland diet and avoid all dairy products for 2-3 days.

Headaches

Tylenol (regular or extra strength) is fine to take. Do not take Advil, Motrin, Aleve, or any other Ibuprofen based product, or aspirin, as they can cause spontaneous bleeding and thinning of the blood.

Head Cold/Sinus/Cough

Tylenol Cold + Sinus, Sudafed, Benadryl, Drixoral, Robitussin, or Triaminic may be taken.  Be sure to match symptoms on label with the symptoms you are experiencing. Do not take more than the recommended dosage.

Flu Shots

The Centers for Disease Control recommends all pregnant women receive the flu shot. We recommend you receive the flu shot after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.  Your primary care physician or local pharmacy can administer the flu shot.  We do not administer this vaccine with our office.

Hemorrhoids

Try Tucks Pads, Anusol, or Preparation H Ointment or Suppositories.  Be sure to drink plenty of liquids in order to help soften the stool.

Indigestion or Gas

Tums or Simethicone are fine, but do not take Pepto-Bismol.

Leg Cramps

Sometimes leg cramps may be due to a lack of calcium or potassium. You may take 600mg x twice daily of calcium citrate and eat one or two bananas daily until cramping resolves.

Minor Sore Throat

Use Chloraseptic spray, throat lozenges, or gargle with warm salt water to help relieve symptoms of a sore throat.  If your sore throat is accompanied by a fever of 101.4 or higher, please call us immediately.

Minor Swelling

Reduce salt intake and your elevate feet as often as possible. Again, be sure you are taking in additional fluids, as more fluids in pushes more fluids out.

Morning Sickness or Nausea

While not exactly a true “illness,” nausea during pregnancy can certainly be difficult to deal with and can make day-to-day life difficult. The good news is that most women’s morning sickness or nausea will resolve by the second trimester, so be hopeful. To treat morning sickness/nausea, start by taking 50mg x 3 times daily of vitamin B6; ginger root (1 gram a day), or drink some ginger tea. Discontinue your prenatal vitamin until nausea resolves and eat small, frequent meals. If this does not help, you may try Emetrol – be sure to follow directions on the label for dosing.

If you have or develop any of these or other symptoms or illness during pregnancy, you may need to be seen for a special visit or more often than normal.  As always, we will be here to provide exceptional care and to reassure you during your pregnancy.

If we have not addressed your specific question here, please call the office and ask to speak with a nurse.