Safe OTC Cold/sinus Medicine While Pregnant?

Updated on September 18, 2012
M.E. asks from Saint Simons Island, GA
8 answers

I am 37 weeks pregnant and have the worst cold. It kept me up most of night. Running/congested nose, sinus pressure, head ache, sore throat...what can I safely take? I've tried googling it but it seems like everything for congestion is considered unsafe. Is there anything I am missing? I would call my ob but they do not have an after hours line. So its either wait until Monday or go to Urgent Care this afternoon. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the input. :) I am taking benadryl at night, and tylenol as needed for headache, and drinking lots of water. Its annoying, but I'll get through it. ;) My ob's office really does not have an after hour's number. This is my 3rd baby I've had with them and they have never had one which I've always thought was weird. I was told if I have any sort of emergency or go into labor to go into the maternity center, and they will page the doctor. Kinda odd, but I love my ob so I deal with it. :)

Featured Answers



answers from Portland on

I took the real Sudaphe or psuedophederine when I was pregnant. It was actually considered safe and I was sick with both of my kids.
I also recommend a neti pot. feel better mama!

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answers from Springfield on

My OB told me to take psuedophedrin or Tylenol Cold. Call your OB and ask. They have to have a number you can call after hours. What if you went in to labor? Just call the regular daytime number. Someone should answer the phone and be able to get your question answered.

If your OB really doesn't have an answering service (which I don't believe is possible), you can call a local hospital and speak to someone in Labor and Delivery. They should be able to answer your question, as well.

Hope you feel better soon!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

A lot of OTC cold meds don't help much even if you aren't pregnant.
Try rinsing out your nose with warm (not hot) saline (use a neti pot) as often as you need to.
Sleep with a humidifier next to you.
Steamy showers help, too.
Gargle with salt water to help with the sore throat.
Drink plenty of fluids - tea, soup broth, ginger ale - staying well hydrated keep the mucus thinned out.
A heating pad on low on your face/neck/chest can help you feel better.

For cough/cold - the list of Safe to Take while pregnant:

Guaifenesin, an expectorant (Hytuss, Mucinex, Naldecon Senior EX, Robitussin)

Dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant (Benylin Adult, Robitussin Maximum Strength Cough, Scot-Tussin DM, Vicks 44 Cough Relief)

Guaifenesin plus dextromethorphan (Benylin Expectorant, Robitussin DM, Vicks 44E)

Cough drops

Vicks VapoRub


Cold remedies that contain alcohol

The decongestants pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine, which can affect blood flow to the placenta

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I remember what my doctor told me years ago when I had the same problem. "Any medication can be potentially harmful to your baby. However, remember that there are thousands of women who use harmful drugs throughout their entire pregancy and have beautiful healthy babies".

I've never heard of an OB not having someone on call. What if you had an emergency? You could call the hospital.

DO NOT go to urgent care. It certainly doesn't sound like you need to see a doctor, especially immediately.

Vick's vapo rub may help.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If you are worried about, or have any questions regarding, the potential risks of medications, food, chemicals, or any other exposures on your pregnancy, call the Texas Teratogen Information Pregnancy Riskline at:


The Texas Teratogen Information Pregnancy Riskline is a non-profit organization that provides free services for health care professionals, Texas residents, and students. We provide free counseling for anyone who may be concerned about pregnancy or breastfeeding exposures to teratogens.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I wouldn't take any - none. You do not know (nor has any research been done) on the effects of these drugs on a developing fetus

Try these:

Vicks vapo rub on your chest and feet w/socks while you sleep

Peppermint oil (just a few drops) in a cool mist humidifier

Push vitamin C

Hydrate w/water w/lemon to break up mucus membranes

Try to get more sleep - even an hour will make a difference

Neti pot w/warm saline solution

All of these are completely safe for pregnancy.

Good luck!



answers from Phoenix on

My doctor told me benedryl is safe. But it is still a B class drug, so nothing is certain.

The only other recommendation I can make is a NetiPot, or just the use of saline solution to clean out your sinuses.

Feel better soon!



answers from New York on

Take the smallest dose possible, but at this point, benedryl, claritin, and tylenol cold are safe.

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