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    Can I Take Allergy Medication If I'm Pregnant?

    If you plan to get pregnant or you’re already expecting, talk to your doctor about all the medicines you take, including those that don’t need a prescription. Many allergy drugs may be fine to keep taking during pregnancy, but have the discussion so you can have peace of mind. 

    Oral antihistamines, like cetirizine (Zyrtec), chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), fexofenadine (Allegra), and loratadine (Claritin) seem to be safe. So do cromolyn sodium (Nasalcrom) nasal spray and steroid sprays your doctor prescribes. An advantage to sprays is that the drug is focused only in your nose. It doesn't travel throughout your body. But don't take any nasal spray decongestants when you’re pregnant.

    During your first trimester, don't take decongestants by mouth, either. They may make some birth defects more likely. Watch out for antihistamines combined with a decongestant. Since there's not enough evidence for their safety, avoid antihistamine nasal sprays.

    Is it safer to skip allergy medication altogether when I'm pregnant?

    If your symptoms aren't bad, your doctor may suggest other treatments instead. You could allergy-proof your home or rely on saline nasal sprays.

    But if allergy symptoms are a big problem -- making it hard to sleep, for instance -- taking medication may be better for your health and your baby's.

    If you have allergic asthma, you need to take the medication as prescribed. Uncontrolled asthma can cause serious problems during pregnancy.

    Are allergy shots safe during pregnancy?

    Yes, you can keep getting allergy shots while you are pregnant. But you shouldn't start allergy shots during pregnancy. Wait until after you've had your baby.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on October 29, 2014

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