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Pregnancy and the Flu

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How Should I Treat Cold or Flu Symptoms During Pregnancy?

Many flu and cold medications have not been well studied in pregnancy. If you are pregnant and have the flu, call your doctor before taking any over-the-counter or prescription drug.

Treatments for cold and flu symptoms that your doctor may suggest during pregnancy include:

These treatments are found commonly among over-the-counter cold and flu remedies. Check labels carefully.

Pregnant women with flu are at greater risk of serious illness and death from flu. The CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab), or zanamivir (Relenza) in pregnant women with suspected or test-proven flu. Oral oseltamivir is preferred because it has the most studies showing it’s safe and beneficial.


What Are Some Natural Ways to Treat Flu Symptoms During Pregnancy?

Try these four natural flu remedies during pregnancy:

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

How Do You Prevent Flu During Pregnancy?

Get a flu shot to prevent the flu. Do not use FluMist, the nasal spray influenza vaccine. It is not recommended for pregnant women.

To prevent exposure to flu during pregnancy:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Avoid contact with people who have a cold.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when you touch a contaminated surface and then touch these areas.

In addition, call your doctor if:

  • You have trouble breathing.
  • Your symptoms don't improve or get worse after three to four days.
  • After feeling a little better, you develop signs of a more serious problem.

Some signs of a more serious problem are a sick-to-your-stomach feeling, vomiting, high fever, shaking chills, chest pain, or coughing with thick, yellow-green mucus.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on May 10, 2015
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