Over The Counter Medications

Over the counter medications are medications you can purchase at a pharmacy or other retail store, and they do not require a prescription from your doctor. While these medications are safe during pregnancy, it is recommended that you limit the use of medication in the first trimester. If one of your providers is prescribing a medication for you that you take on a regular basis, please advise them of your pregnancy as soon as possible. Some medications are not safe to take in pregnancy and to avoid harm to the fetus the medication may need to be changed. Please do not stop taking your regular medications without talking to your doctor first. As with any medication, remember to read the label for dosage instructions prior to taking medication.

  • Antacids: Antacids are used to treat heartburn and reflux. Tums (calcium carbonate), Mylanta, Maalox (magnesium hydroxide), Prilosec (omeprazole), Pepcid (famotidine), and Zantac (ranitidine) are safe in pregnancy.
  • Antifungals: Antifungal are used to treat vaginal yeast infections. Gyne-Lotrimin (clotrimazole) is safe to take while pregnant. If you finish the over the counter treatment and feel your symptoms have not resolved or are getting worse, please call Dr. Heywood's office to make an appointment.
  • Antihistamines: Antihistamines are used to treat nasal congestion and allergies. Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Chlor-trimeton (chlorpheniramine) and Claritin (loratadine), and Zyrtec are all safe to take in pregnancy. Keep in mind Benadryl may cause drowsiness. Always read the label for dosage instructions. For added comfort, you can also use a saline nasal spray or drops.
  • Cough Suppressants: Guaifenesin is a cough syrup, which will help to suppress your cough. If a cough is persistent, lasting several days and is associated with a fever, or other symptoms, please call the office.
  • Pain Relievers: Tylenol and Extra Strength Tylenol (generic forms are called acetaminophen), are safe in pregnancy to treat headaches, other body aches, and fever.
  • Stool softeners: Stool softeners are used to treat constipation. Adding fiber and increasing your water intake are both good natural ways to treat constipation. However, if you are still constipated you can use Metamucil or Colace, and both are safe in pregnancy.