When you fall pregnant, you're suddenly confronted with a barrage of advice from everyone around you on what you should and shouldn't take when it comes to medications. There are the obvious no-no's, like Ibuprofen and Naproxen, but as it turns out, some medications previously regarded as safe should be avoided too. Most of what you read online tells you that it's perfectly fine to take Benadryl and Claritin for that pesky summer hayfever, but according to a study they could do more harm than good in the long run.
PREVIOUSLY: HOW ALLERGIES CAN AFFECT YOUR PREGNANCY
The European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology conducted the research by looking at women who had severe morning sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). Their findings showed that those who took antihistamines explicitly for allergies or not (antihistamines are contained in cold remedies, decongestants, and sleeping aids) were far more likely to have serious complications in pregnancy, such as premature births, babies with a lower weight, or breathing or feeding issues. The study showed that more than 50% of the HG patients who experienced these problems took antihistamines.
Although the study shows a link between those women suffering from intense morning sickness and antihistamines, further research is needed to establish the long-term effects of an otherwise healthy mother taking the medication on a regular basis.
An estimated 23.7 million cases of hay fever are reported every year in the US alone, with the antihistamine business raking in millions of dollars annually. Even if you don't have hay fever, the handy tablets can stop other allergies in their tracks, such as pet or skin reactions. With so many of us quick to pop a pill or two for our ailments, it's important to be vigilant when you're self-medicating and pregnant. After all, there's a reason why a lot of store-bought medicines have the disclaimer, "Consult your doctor before taking."
Be sure to follow that advice and give your medical professional a visit before you go ahead. You can't trust everything that you read online!
Have you ever had to stop any medications while pregnant? Or have you found allergy relief without antihistamines? Let us know in the comments.