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Cold and Flu Center

Cold Medicines That Can Be Taken While Pregnant

author image Laura Candelaria
Laura Candelaria is a family nurse practitioner and assistant professor of nursing and nutritional science. Her experience includes neonatal and pediatric intensive-care, women's oncology, gynecology, obstetrics, lactation, nutrition and infertility. She has been published in "Nursing Spectrum," "Newsday" and on various websites.
Cold Medicines That Can Be Taken While Pregnant
Pregnant and suffering with a cold? Photo Credit pregnancy #11 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com

Pregnant women may develop a cold at one time or another during the nine months of pregnancy. Severe cold symptoms may require the use of over-the-counter medications for relief. According to the American Family Physician, most over-the-counter drugs have an excellent safety profile, while some have unproven safety or are known to adversely affect the fetus. Always contact your physician prior to taking any medication during your pregnancy.

Pain Relief

During a cold, you may suffer from headache, sore throat, mild fever and body aches. Regular strength acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the recommended pain reliever for use during any trimester of pregnancy. It's considered safe to take during pregnancy as long as you take no more than the dose recommended on the label, reports Baby Center. Aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided. If you are suffering from severe pain and acetaminophen is not delivering adequate relief, contact your obstetrician for further instruction.


According to the American Family Physician, chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton) is the antihistamine of choice during pregnancy. This medication is intended to alleviate allergy symptoms such as runny nose, itchy throat and watery eyes.

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Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) is a decongestant that is considered safe for the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. It is used to relieve nasal and sinus congestion and discomfort. It is best to avoid pseudophedrine during the first trimester due to some reports of possible birth defects, reports Baby Center. Alternative treatments for nasal congestion during pregnancy include saline nasal spray and wash. Warm steam from a running shower and eucalyptus oil may help to open up nasal passageways and provide relief.

Cough Relief

Dextromethrophan (Robitussin DM) is considered safe for cough during pregnancy, states OB Focus. Be wary of other cough formulations, as many contain alcohol. If dextromethrophan is not providing adequate relief of your cough, contact your obstetrician. She may be able to prescribe you a safe alternative. Throat lozenges or tea with honey and lemon may help to relax your cough and provide soothing relief for your throat.

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