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 does cromolyn sodium (Nasalcrom) nasal spray and the steroid nasal spray Rhinocort, but ask your doctor before using. An advantage to sprays is that the drug is focused only in your nose. It doesn't travel throughout your body. 

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 Nivin Todd, MD on August 05, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: "Asthma, Allergies, and Pregnancy: Tips to Remember."

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: "When Pregnancy Is Complicated by Allergies and Asthma."

National Jewish Health: "Allergy Medication FAQ: Allergy Medications, Pediatrics, and Pregnancy."

UpToDate: "Recognition and Management of Allergic Disease During Pregnancy."

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