MEDICATIONS DURING PREGNANCY
During your pregnancy, we encourage you NOT to drink alcohol or take any medications other than those that are necessary. Most often, small problems may be relieved with rest and relaxation and/or adjustments to our diet.
It is recommended that you consult with us before taking any medications and we request that you contact us beforehand. There are a few medications, however, that we feel are safe to use with discretion.
FOR INDIGESTION, HEARTBURN and GAS: Heartburn may be very common during pregnancy. Sometimes it is helpful to try and determine when you experience indigestion. Is it before meals, when you stomach is empty? Is it when you have just finished a large meal? Is it in the evening? Is it in the morning or all of the time? Often this situation is relieved by eating smaller, more frequent meals or avoiding specific irritating foods and having less in your stomach at bedtime. In addition, trying to remain upright for 2-3 hours after eating may be helpful. If these suggestions do not relieve your symptoms, the use of antacids is generally thought to be safe during pregnancy. Calcium carbonate (TUMS® and others) is probably the safest antacid, since the baby and mother both need calcium to develop properly and maintain health. We suggest you discuss this problem and the best method or antacid that would be helpful. To relieve your symptoms, you may try; TUMS®, MYLANTA® Tablets or Liquid, ROLAIDS®, MAALOX®, GAS-X®, TAGAMENT®, ZANTAC®, RIOPAN or MYLANTA® (safe to use for the first 12 weeks).
DO NOT USE PEPTO-BISMOL® as this contains Aspirin.
If there is an increasing problem with heartburn or regurgitation after meals, GAVISCON® liquid or tablets may be quite helpful for these symptoms.
FOR NAUSEA OR “MORNING SICKNESS”: Again, we suggest that you consider your diet and the time of day that you eat your meals. During pregnancy, it is thought that there may be an increase in gastric stomach secretions, and perhaps a cracker or piece of toast before getting out of bed may be helpful. You might also try eating smaller, more frequent meals and try never to skip meals. EMETROL®, an over-the-counter product, is acceptable to use any time during pregnancy for nausea or morning sickness. If none of these remedies seem to help, the doctor maybe prescribes Vitamin B6.
FOR DIARRHEA: A clear liquid diet for 24 hours is recommended followed by a soft, bland diet over the next 24-48 hours. The BRAT Diet (i.e., bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast as well as crackers or oatmeal) may be helpful. If dehydration and/or fever develop, please contact us or your family doctor for evaluation of possible viral gastroenteritis. KAOPECTATE ® is acceptable and may be used as directed and IMMODIUM® (one dose is acceptable). If it persists, please notify the office.
FOR NAUSEA and VOMTING: For vomiting, due specifically to an intestinal flue or GI irritation, it is recommended to take a clear liquid diet for 24-36 hours. Basically any liquid that you can see through would be considered a clear liquid. Patients may then proceed to crackers, applesauce, bananas, and toast. Patients are recommended to avoid any milk products for at least 48 hours and then eat a soft bland diet for an additional 24 hours until the cramping has ceased. If you cannot keep anything down for more than 48 hours, please call us or your family physician. To summary, eat small frequents meals, drink Ginger Ale or 7-Up® soft drinks, broth or bouillon, sweet fruit syrup from canned fruits (i.e., pears, peaches, etc.) hot tea (with lemon or sugar), eat Jell-O® gelatin. An addition, Vitamin B6 or Sea Bands (form of acupuncture on wrists) may be beneficial.
DO NOT USE: Sweet ‘N Low
FOR PAIN: Regular or extra-strength TYLENOL® (acetaminophen) is certainly safe and acceptable for all types of pain during pregnancy.
DO NOT USE Aspirin®, Motrin®, Advil® or Aleve® products.
FOR DENTAL WORK: Local anesthesia (i.e. LIDOCAINE® or NOVACAINE®), is always acceptable during pregnancy unless you are allergic to these drugs. X-rays should be avoided until after pregnancy.
FOR CONSTIPATION: There are many reasons or causes for constipation during pregnancy. Sometimes, it is due to the iron in your vitamins, the increasing size of your uterus, the lack of bulk or roughage and/or the lack of enough fluids in your diet. Try to increase the bulk and roughage in your diet with bran cereal, whole wheat crackers, wheat bread, leafy green vegetables, fresh and/or dried fruit. If these suggestions do not seem to improve the situation, as Stool Softeners, you may take METAMUCIL®, FIBERMED®, COLACE®. As mild laxatives, you may use SENOKOT®, PERI-COLACE®, or DOXIDAN®.
FOR HEMORRHOIDS: Usually when there is a problem with bowel eliminations, hemorrhoids develop. Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins at the rectal opening. Usually burning, itching, and irritation occur with hemorrhoids. The treatment for this problem is keeping bowel movements soft and regular, avoid straining and also avoid standing for long periods of time. You may try taking warm tub baths two to three times a day using WHICH HAZEL, TUCKS®, ANUSOL® suppositories, or PREPARATION H® after bowel movements. This will relieve the swelling and itching. Should you have significant rectal bleeding, please let us know.
FOR HEADACHES: As you know, headaches may be caused by a number of reasons such as stress, being overworked or overtired, or changes in hormonal levels occurring during pregnancy. Be sure to get enough sleep and take a break during daily activities. You may use either regular or extra-strength TYLENOL® (acetaminophen) for something light to eat may also be helpful. You should call the office if you have persistent, severe headaches that do not go away with TYLENOL® or, if your headaches cause you problems with your vision, such as spots in front of your eyes.
FOR COLDS, CONGESTION OR FLU: Although it is not always possible to avoid this situation, it may be helpful to drink fluids, and get plenty of rest. Most decongestants and antihistamines like CHLORTRIMETON® and SUDAFED® (pseudo-ephedrine) have been found to be safe and effective during pregnancy. (if you have a history of increased blood pressure and have pregnancy-induced hypertension, consult with our physician before taking these products). After the third month, DAMETAPP®, ORNADE®, ACTIFED®, BENADRYL®, and almost all over-the-counter antihistamines/decongestant products are considered safe and effective. For a “stuffy nose”, OCEAN NASAL MIST® nasal spray, or NASAL, is safe throughout pregnancy. For a cough, we suggest any over-the-counter cough syrup with minimal amounts of alcohol, such as CONTACT® COUGH SYRUP. If you are less than three (3) months pregnancy, contact your doctor first before using ROBITUSSIN® (no more than 4% alcohol). For a sore throat, you may use CHLORASEPTIC® or CEPACOL® gargle or lozenges. SUCRETS® and TYLENOL® may also be helpful. These products should only be used for a short time. If the cough or cold persists, please consult your physician. Should your temperature rise above 101ͦ , you should either consult your family physician or contact us so we may suggest further treatment as necessary. Other comfort measures such as using a humidifier to relieve congestion, and/or gargling with warm salt water for a sore throat may help as well.
MUSCLE CRAMPS: If you are having muscle cramps, particularly at night, you may need to increase our intake of calcium per day. Any over-the-counter calcium product is acceptable or you may need to increase your milk or milk0containing foods in your diet. If these muscle aches and pains are secondary to over-exertion or muscle strain, warm, moist soaks may be helpful.
VAGINAL DISCHARGE: An increase in vaginal discharge may be normal in pregnancy. This happens because of the increased hormones in your blood when you are pregnant. Common relief measures can include wearing cotton panties – not nylon. Avoid wearing tight, constricting clothing and always remember to wipe from front to back after using the toilet. You should avoid douching and the use of perfumed products like vaginal deodorants. Call the office if your discharge has a foul odor, if you feel itching or burning, or if your discharge is discolored (brown or green).
If you suspect that your partner has an infection or he is experiencing a discharge, please call the office. If you notice any sores around the opening of your vagina, you need to call the office as well.
If you have any questions about medications you may have taken or need to take during this pregnancy, please do not hesitate to consult with us.