Note: The Pregistry website includes expert reports on more than 2000 medications, 300 diseases, and 150 common exposures during pregnancy and lactation. These expert reports are free of charge and can be saved and shared.
Note: always follow your doctor’s instructions. Never change your medication regimen on your own.
Of all the questions you have when you are pregnant, none may be as important as “what medications are safe?” Anything that goes in to or on your body can affect your growing baby, so it’s smart to be cautious when it comes to prescription and non-prescriptions drugs. Thankfully, many medications for common aches, pains, and illnesses are safe during pregnancy.
Below is a list of medications that are considered safe for most women during pregnancy. Just remember to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication. Additionally, the FDA and the CDC offer resources for learning about medication safety during pregnancy.
Over-the-counter (non-prescription) medicines
- Tylenol or acetaminophen is OK for mild discomfort
- Do not take aspirin (Anacin) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- Antacids (Tums, Rolaids, Mylanta, Maalox, Pepcid, Prevacid, Zantac)
- Simethicone (Gas-X, Mylicon, Gaviscon) for gas pain
- Immodium for diarrhea after first trimester for 24 hours only
- Fiber (Metamucil, MiraLax, Citrucel, BeneFiber) for constipation
- Laxatives can be used occasionally (Colace, Dulcolax)
- Phenylephrine/mineral oil/petrolatum (Preparation H) for hemorrhoids
- Witch hazel (Tucks pads or ointment) for hemorrhoids
- Chlorpheniramine alone (Chlor-Trimeton)
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Loratadine (Claritin, others)
- Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- Oxymetazoline nasal spray (Afrin) (limit use to 3 days)
- Steroid nasal sprays (Rhinocort)
- Saline nasal spray
- Neti-pot or sinus rinse
First aid, burns, and rashes:
- Neomycin/polymyxin B/bacitracin (Neosporin)
- Diphenhydramine cream (Benadryl)
- Hydrocortisone cream or ointment
- Oatmeal bath (Aveeno)
- N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET)
- Miconazole (Monistat)
Remember that no medication is 100% safe or effective for every woman. If you are concerned about your symptoms or chronic conditions, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the right treatment for you and your baby. Whether you are pregnant or not, it is usually safest to take the lowest effective dose of a medication for the shortest possible time.