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Question

Which over-the-counter allergies products are safe to use during pregnancy?

Answer

Many of allergy medications over-the-counter (OTC) may be harmful for pregnant women, and their benefit needs to be weighed against the risk to the fetus. There are a few OTC options that have been tested in animals and showed no negative effects to the unborn child when taken by the mother. For mild symptoms, diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton) have been used successfully for many years with no adverse effects to the fetus. The major concern with these is drowsiness. Newer options, loratadine (Claritin) and cetirizine (Zyrtec) are both oral tablets that are less sedating and have shown promising results in animal and human studies. These are recommended for use in pregnancy. Cromolyn sodium (NasalCrom) nasal spray is also a safe option for mild symptoms. However, non-drug options are preferred in pregnant women to avoid any side effects. Saline nasal sprays or nasal adhesive strips may help relieve nasal congestion. Elevating your head by using extra pillows or placing objects under the legs of the bed can also provide comfort during bedtime.

Learn more about allergies.

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Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a Walgreens.com pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.

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