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Over-the-counter medicines safe to use during pregnancy

Brand names and ingredients can change. Use the generic name (in parentheses) as the key for using these medicines. If you have questions or concerns, call your clinic or pharmacist.

Condition

Medicine

acne

  • Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser
  • CeraVe™ Hydrating Cleanser
  • Glytone® (benzoyl peroxide)

allergy

  • Alavert® or Claritin® (loratadine)
  • Benadryl® (diphenhydramine)
  • Zyrtec® (cetirizine)

constipation

  • Citrucel® or Unifiber® (methylcellulose)
  • Colace® (docusate sodium)
  • ex-lax® Maximum Strength Stimulant Laxative (sennosides) or Senokot® (senna)
  • Fiberall® or FiberCon® (calcium polycarbophil)
  • Metamucil® (psyllium)
  • milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide)
  • mineral oil (one ounce) in juice
  • ClearLax®, MiraLAX® (polythylene Glycol 3350)

cough (alcohol-free syrup)

  • Vicks® Nature Fusion™ Cough (dextromethorphan hydrobromide)
  • Delsym® 12-Hour Extended-release Suspension (dextromethorphan polistirex)
  • Coricidin® HBP Chest Congestion and Cough or Adult Robitussin® Peak Cold Cough and Chest (dextromethorphan, guaifenesin)
  • Mucinex® (guaifenesin)

diarrhea

  • Imodium® (loperamide)

fever

  • Tylenol® (acetaminophen)

Take 650 milligrams (mg) every four hours for temperature higher than 100.4 degrees F. If you have a fever for 12 hours, call your health care provider.

gas

  • Gas-X® Chewable Tablets or Maalox® Anti-Gas or Mylanta® Gas Maximum Strength Chewable Tablets (simethicone)
  • Mylanta® Maximum Strength Liquid or Maalox® Advanced Maximum Strength Liquid (aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, simethicone)

heartburn

  • Gaviscon® (aluminum hydroxide, magnesium carbonate)
  • Maalox® tablets or Rolaids® or Titralac® or Tums® (calcium carbonate) Take less than 2,000 mg.
  • Maalox® Advanced Regular Strength Liquid or Mylanta® Regular Strength Classic Liquid (aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, simethicone)
  • Pepcid® AC (famotidine)
  • Zantac® (ranitidine)

hemorrhoids

  • Anusol-HC® hemorrhoidal ointment or Preparation H® Hydrocortisone (hydrocortisone)
  • Preparation H® (phenylephrine, pramoxine, glycerin, petrolatum)
  • Tucks® pads (witch hazel)

nausea, vomiting, motion sickness

  • Emetrol® Syrup (phosphorated [phosphoric acid] carbohydrates [dextrose, fructose] syrup)
  • Dramamine® (dimenhydrinate)
  • ginger tabs (ginger)
  • vitamin B-6 Take 25 mg four times a day.
  • Sea-Band®
  • Unisom® SleepTabs® (doxylamine succinate) Take one-half of 25 mg tablet and 25 mg of vitamin B-6 three to four times a day.

pain

Call your clinic if your pain is in your abdomen (stomach).

  • Tylenol® (acetaminophen)

Take 650 to 1,000 mg every four hours as needed. Do not take more than 4,000 mg in 24 hours. If you don't have relief in 24 hours, call your clinic.

rash

Call your clinic if you have an allergic reaction, or no relief.

  • Aveeno® Soothing Bath Treatment (colloidal oatmeal)
  • Caladryl® Clear® lotion (pramoxine, zinc acetate) or calamine lotion (calamine, zinc oxide)
  • Cortaid® 1% (hydrocortizone)
  • Gold Bond® Medicated Anti-itch Cream (menthol, pramoxine)

sinus congestion and cold

  • Clor-Trimetron® (chlorpheniramine)
  • Coricidin® HBP Chest Congestion and Cough (dextromethorphan, guaifenesin)
  • Ocean Mist® nasal spray (saline [sodium chloride] nasal sprays)
  • Sudafed® (pseudoephedrine) Avoid in the first trimester.

Avoid all products with phenylpropanolamine and phenylephrine.

sleep problems

  • Unisom® SleepTabs® (doxylamine succinate)
  • Tylenol® PM (acetaminophen, diphenhydramine HCl)

sore throat

  • Cepacol® Maximum Strength Sore Throat Spray or Sucrets® lozenges (dyclonine hydrochloride)
  • Chloraseptic® lozenges (benzocaine) or spray (phenol) Do not take longer than two days.
  • Halls® or Robitussin® lozenges (menthol)
  • Vicks® lozenges with honey (dextromethorphan hydrobromide)

vaginal yeast infection

  • Gynazole-1® (butoconazole)
  • Gyne-Lotrimin® (clotrimazole)
  • Monistat® 7 vaginal cream (miconazole)


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Over-the-counter Medicines Safe to Use During Pregnancy, ob-ahc-15001
Reviewed by: Allina Health Patient Education experts
First Published: 10/15/2011
Last Reviewed: 11/26/2013