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Asthma During Pregnancy - Topic Overview

Asthma and allergies

Many women also have allergies, such as allergic rhinitis, along with asthma. Treating allergies is an important part of asthma management.

  • Inhaled corticosteroid medicines at recommended doses are effective and can be used by pregnant women.
  • The antihistamines loratadine or cetirizine are recommended.
  • If you are already taking allergy shots, you may continue getting them, but starting allergy shots during pregnancy is not recommended.
  • Talk to your doctor about using decongestants you take by mouth (oral decongestants). There may be better treatment options.

Asthma medicines and pregnancy

A review of the animal and human studies on the effects of asthma medicines taken during pregnancy found few risks to the woman or her fetus. It is safer for a pregnant woman who has asthma to be treated with asthma medicines than for her to have asthma symptoms and asthma attacks.1 Poor control of asthma is a greater risk to the fetus than asthma medicines are.1 Budesonide is labeled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the safest inhaled corticosteroid to use during pregnancy. One study found that low-dose inhaled budesonide in pregnant women seemed to be safe for the mother and the fetus.3

Never stop taking or reduce your medicines without talking to your doctor. You might have to wait until your pregnancy is over to make changes in your medicine.

Always talk to your doctor before using any medicine when you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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