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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?

    • You have trouble breathing.
    • Your symptoms don't improve or get worse after 3 to 4 days.
    • After feeling a little better, you start having signs of a more serious problem, like 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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