Over-the-counter Drugs that Are Best Avoided During Pregnancy and Nursing

Pregnant women continue to use OTC (over-the-counter) medicines when they suffer from headaches or upset stomachs. If truth be told, most OTC drugs are safe to use during pregnancy, but you need to bear in mind the fact that there are certain surprising ones that can cause significant harm to not just you, but your developing baby as well. For this reason, it's extremely important for you to talk to your doctor before taking any medications at all – irrespective of whether they are OTC, herbal or even prescription.

With that, here’s a list of certain OTC drugs that you need to avoid during pregnancy:

10 Naproxen

However, although there is no controlled data in human pregnancies to make use of, experts believe that it's best for pregnant women to avoid using Naproxen. This is because its usage in late pregnancy can cause premature closure of the ductus arteriosus and prolong labor and delivery. The only time when Naproxen is allowed during pregnancy is when there are no alternatives and benefit outweighs risk.

9 Ibuprofen

This one is a surprise, right? Now if you're wondering what harm this supposedly harmless medicine can cause, then let me tell you that even taking a small dose of this particular painkiller early in your pregnancy has the potential to DOUBLE your risk of having a miscarriage.

If truth be told, this particular reason is more than enough for a pregnant woman to avoid taking Ibuprofen no matter how much pain she's in. The fact that this particular painkiller threatens to double your risk of having a miscarriage will probably frighten most mums to the core. So, to guarantee your developing baby’s safety, avoid using Ibuprofen not just in the first few weeks of your pregnancy, but all through it if possible.

8 Sudafed

Sudafed should particularly be avoided during the first trimester because this is the time when the risk of developing physical malformations is at its peak in the fetus as it continues to achieve basic physical developments. This medicine should also be avoided by hypertensive women as it is known to increase blood pressure.

Research has shown that the utilization of Sudafed during pregnancy has the potential to slow down the uterine blood flow. In general, this can prove to be disastrous for your developing baby. Sudafed also can cause several birth defects when used during pregnancy. For instance, it has proven to trigger small intestinal atresia and gastroschisis in a majority of babies whose mothers took Sudafed while carrying them.

7 Aspirin

This one is definitely going to surprise all of you too considering how harmless we all consider a medicine like Aspirin to be. Although doctors at times recommend pregnant women to take baby aspirin to lower their risk of certain pregnancy-related complications, it's best for you to avoid taking this medicine all through your pregnancy.

This is because several studies have linked the utilization of Aspirin with various pregnancy related complications. If taken in the first few weeks of pregnancy, it has the potential to increase a woman’s chance of having a miscarriage. Apart from that, other research studies have also shown that taking aspirin during pregnancy has the tendency to increase the risk of a placental abruption and may affect your baby’s development.

6 Lomotil

When it comes to taking Lomotil during pregnancy, it's highly recommended by experts to avert from its utilization unless the benefits that it has to offer outweigh the risks. The reason for this is that the overall safety of taking this medicine during pregnancy has not been established by research studies as of yet.

However, the medicine has been categorized as a Class D drug and is believed to pose risk to the overall health of the mother as well as her developing baby. The utilization of Lomotil is also considered rather hazardous for breastfeeding mothers.

5 Pepto-Bismol

Pepto-Bismol is the brand name of a medicine called Bismuth and is used to treat digestive system and intestinal tract-related issues. It's particularly prescribed for acid reflux, diarrhea, and upset stomach.

In terms of pregnancy, every single medicine out there is given a label – A, B, C, D and X. Class A medicines are believed to be 100% safe for usage during pregnancy whereas although class C medicines are considered safe, it's best for pregnant women to avoid them. While we are at it, class D drugs present significant risk and should be avoided at all times, whereas class X medicines are a complete no-no.

When it comes to Pepto-Bismol, it has been labeled a class C medicine for the first trimester and D for the second and third trimester. For this reason, it's best for pregnant women to refrain from taking it. Its usage can cause premature closure of the ductus arteriosus, and it is also best avoided by breastfeeding mothers.

4 Flagyl

The reason why Flagyl is best avoided by women during pregnancy is that it is known to cross the placenta all through gestation and its effects on the developing fetus have not been established through proper scientific research as of yet.

A major reason why health care experts will stop you from using Flagyl while pregnant is because its utilization during pregnancy has long remained on the controversial end. There are also certain old case reports which describe three cases of midline facial defects, which adds to the reasons why you need to avert from taking Flagyl when expecting your baby. Also, research shows that 20% of Flagyl can enter into breast milk, which is why you should not take it when breastfeeding as well.

3 Tavegil

The reason why you need to avoid taking Tavegil during pregnancy is because its safety for pregnant women has not been established as of yet. Tavegil’s safety is still undetermined due to the lack of scientific research over its possible effects on pregnant women and their developing babies. This is why doctors refrain from prescribing Tavegil to expecting mothers just so they don’t suffer from any unanticipated reactions.

Also, unless the potential benefits offered by Tavegil outweigh its risks, it's best for you to avoid taking it when breastfeeding your baby. Again, this medicine may pass into breast milk and its safety for newborn babies has not been established as of yet.

2 Advil

Although a single dose isn’t going to harm you or your baby, it's best for you to avoid using Advil during pregnancy, particularly during the third trimester.

A number of research studies have been performed in order to look at the effects of Advil on pregnant women. It was found through these research studies that Advil poses a certain degree of risk to pregnant women and has thus been assigned a ‘pregnancy risk category’ by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Advil is considered category D in the third trimester. That means there's significant evidence of harm to your baby if you take the drug during this time.

1 Benadryl

Although the occasional usage of Benadryl during pregnancy has been categorized as safe, its prolonged use is contraindicated. Not only is it best for pregnant women avoid its frequent utilization, even breastfeeding moms should stay away from it. This is because the drug can be excreted in the breast milk when it is taken by breastfeeding women.




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