Health Risks Of OTC Cold Medication In Pregnancy

Health Risks Of OTC Cold Medication In Pregnancy : Over-the-counter medication and what you need to know, especially if you are expecting.

The love of a mother to her unborn child is like water: un-quantifiable. Given the circumstances, there are a number of things beyond her control; One of which is becoming ill when least expected. Common symptoms like cold, headache, and fever are not foreign and women who are pregnant need to be particularly cautious regarding how they medicate themselves.

People in the developed worlds have access to quick fixes like over-the-counter drugs (OTC) but this is where not OTC drugs are equal or work the same. Even worse. Some may be harmful to a mother and her baby, something we will explore a little more.

We have taken the time to prepare a list of things you should know about OTC’s, Five (5) of them to be precise. Alongside some helpful recommendations that should reduce how often you run to them for rescue.

Things Your Pregnancy Doctor Didn’t Tell You About OTC Cold Meds And How It May Put Your Baby’s Health At Risk

  • Some OTC May Cause Bleeding During Pregnancy

    Research has found that pain relievers such as aspirin (like Bayer®) may increase risks of bleeding during pregnancy or childbirth. This rarely happens but it is usually advisable to stick with natural remedies.

    Low-dose aspirin — 60 to 100 milligrams (mg) daily — is periodically suggested for pregnant women with recurrent pregnancy loss, clotting disorders, and pre-eclampsia.

    Increased dosages will often further lead to health complications for the mother and baby.

  • Pain reliever OTC Could Affect Blood Flow To The Fetus

    Painkillers can help numb the pain but they are also known to constrict blood vessels and this can pose severe consequences to the mother and her infant. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen are generally recommended to be avoided during the last three months of pregnancy. If a painkiller is needed, doctors have often prescribed Paracetamol as an alternative that isn’t known to lead to the same health concerns.

  • Best Practices For Cold and Flu

    A cold or flu is something we cannot always avoid but if you are pregnant, you should take extra measures to treat it properly. There are dozens of popular OTC drugs and one commonly used product is Mucinex. Depending on your symptoms, you can find multiple variants but if you are pregnant, to be on the safe side, you should consult your doctor before buying it or other otc meds.

    Because of  “Dextromethorphan” which is the active ingredient in Mucinex DM.

    You might experience Mucinex side effects such as:

    • Dizziness.
    • Nausea.
    • Vomiting.It is always advisable to consult with your certified health professional before taking any of these otc cold medicines while you’re pregnant.

Choice of Supplement

The right type and amount of supplement can not only help you quickly relieve yourself from a cold or virus but you can also boost your immunity. With a robust immunity, your body can fight off common diseases like cold and influenza. Some popular immune-boosting supplements are Vitamin D, Zinc, Probiotics, Oil of oregano, mushroom extracts, etc. Thankfully, OTC supplements are not known to pose dangerous risks but you should always check with your consultant.

Herbal Products

With little to no clinical trials on many herbal products, it becomes very difficult to trust them, or worse, risk the life of your unborn child. Never experiment until you have verified the efficacy and safety of a product that may put you at risk or cause complications.

Many of these OTC herbal products are available everywhere but are they safe? Will they help? Can they put you at risk? These are questions only a qualified professional can answer. If you are considering any herbal product at all, make sure when next you have an appointment with your doctor you talk to them about it.


Come to think of it, childbirth has been natural long before drugs were available. Our ancestors gave birth without needing medication yet we are privileged to have world-class science to ensure mothers are more comfortable during the experience.

This doesn’t mean all medications are going to benefit you so it will reward you immensely if you are educated and can make the right decisions for you and your child. A healthy diet, regular exercise, staying hydrated are simple but powerful ways to help boost your immunity and ensure minimal complications with you and your unborn infant.

All the best!






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