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Parenting & Pregnancy: Taking medicine during pregnancy

In this week’s Parenting and Pregnancy, we take a look at what medications are safe and which ones to avoid.

Posted: Jul 2, 2020 5:35 PM
Updated: May 3, 2021 11:05 AM

EUGENE, Ore. – One of the first symptoms of being pregnant is morning sickness. But don't let the name fool you, nausea can hit in the morning, the evening, or all day.

“The first things I always recommend for nausea is vitamin b6. Generally it's taken as a preventative 3-times-a-day medication rather than just with symptoms. So, it probably won't work immediately, but it will help with nausea in those ongoing episodes,” says Dr. David Herrmann, Women’s Care.

Dr. Herrmann says women may also encounter colds throughout their pregnancy and most over-the-counter medications are still safe to take.

“One important thing to remember, in pregnancy the cold will typically be a little more severe, last a little longer, and a stuffy nose which is common here with allergies in Eugene, and the valley, a nasal decongestant is considered safe, but again less is more,” Dry. Herrmann said.

Cough drops, Tylenol, and nasal sprays are just fine; however, other medications, such as coumadin, warfarin, some anti-convulsant, and ibuprofen, should be avoided as they could impact organ development early in the pregnancy or circulation later.

When it comes to the flu, pregnant women are encouraged, even more than the general public, to get the flu shot to protect or lessen the effect of the flu. Medications, such as Tamiflu, may be prescribed if a pregnant woman gets the flu or has a family member that has the flu.

Dr. Herrmann says everything is dose dependent and patients should always ask their doctor if they can continue medications or take new ones during pregnancy.

“As a general rule and as a general philosophy regarding medications and pregnancy, our goal is to avoid as many as possible and again I think that's why it's important for patients to bring this up and read the literature that we'll sometimes provide that will cover modifications and lifestyle that will be helpful in preventing acid reflux and other things so that hopefully we can avoid as many medications as possible,” says Dr. Herrmann.

Women’s Care has a 24/7 nursing line for patients to ask any questions regarding medications and whether they are safe to take.

For more information about medicines that are safe to take, click here.

This story was filmed prior to the pandemic.

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