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Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

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Pregnancy and the Flu

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How Should I Treat My Symptoms?

There isn’t a lot of research on how over-the-counter medications affect pregnant women. Call your doctor before you take any over-the-counter treatment.

Your doctor may suggest:

You can usually find these treatments among over-the-counter cold and flu remedies. Check labels carefully.

Your doctor will know what prescription drug you can use. There are 3 to choose from: oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab), or zanamivir (Relenza) in pregnant women with suspected or test-proven flu. Oseltamivir taken by mouth is preferred, because there are studies to show it’s safe and it works.

Are There Any Natural Treatments?

Try these four natural flu remedies:

  • Use sugar- or honey-based lozenges to relieve sore throats and coughs.
  • Get plenty of bed rest.
  • Drink lots of fluids, like water, juice, and caffeine-free tea.
  • Put an air humidifier in your room to provide extra moisture, which can help ease congestion.

How Do You Prevent the Flu?

Get a flu shot. Don’t use FluMist, the nasal spray influenza vaccine. It isn’t recommended for pregnant women.

To avoid catching the illness when you’re pregnant:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Stay away from people who have a cold.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when you touch a contaminated surface and then touch these areas.

When Should You Call the Doctor?

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on May 10, 2015
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