Sunday, September 14, 2008

Meds in Pregnancy

Carolyn commented in another post about OTC medications for relieving congestion symptoms.  I am posting my reply here to be sure that it doesn't get lost:

You need to be especially careful with medications for chest congestion and expectoration.  For the kinds of symptoms that you are describing, you should consider trying loratadine, or chlorpheniramine which are pregnancy category B.  They are neither decongestants nor expectorants, but with thier antihistaminic properties, will probably relieve your symptoms if they are truly allergy related.  Guiafenesin (Robitussin) is category C and potentially much more dangerous to the baby, although some people think it is okay.  If you really need a decongestant, I would say go with pseudophedrine (Sudafed), but do so rarely and cautiously, as in animal studies, excessive use has been linked to less fetal growth.  Nasacort and Nasonex nasal sprays are both category C but I have seen them prescribed for similar problems.


Carolyn said...

Thank you for the info.

I must say, having been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for over 8 years straight now, I do tend to get awful tired of not being able to take medicine ever. It's very frustrating.

Braden said...

Of course all the standard fine print applies here. Ask your doctor is Viagra is right for you... and stuff.

dan said...

So how come after (as Carolyn pointed out) 8 years of being pregnant / breastfeeding (her not me) that I had to learn about this whole pregnancy classes thing from a blog and Wikipedia rather than from a doctor?!?!?

Do they just not want us stupid common-folk to know about this? Or are they afraid of getting sued? Or (more likely) they prefer to not let people know this so that they (doctors) get more business?

Braden said...

The answer to this - and every other "why do they do this in healthcare" question - is lawyers.

If they make pregnancy categories common knowledge, then people might start taking medications, assuming that it is okay for them, and then when something bad happens, sue the drug companies for telling us that the medication was safe.

If you go to your doctor and he tells you to take the medication, then when things go wrong, you sue the doctor instead.

That's why I put my wordy disclaimer above. Besides, sue me all you want - all you'll get is a car who's air conditioning just went out and a George Foreman Skillet.

LintyPuppy said...

Also, your pharmacist is an amazing resource. These are people who specialize in medication, not the practice of medicine, and they really know their stuff when it comes to what works for what condition, and who can take it, etc.