Can You Take Benadryl While Pregnant?
Can you take Benadryl while pregnant? Is Benadryl safe during pregnancy? Does Benadryl have any effects on your child while in your womb or after birth?
Allergies can come in different forms and cause stress during your pregnancy stage. From sneezing to itchy eyes and a constant runny nose, nobody wants to experience discomfort at any time. However, some drugs help to combat these allergies in pregnant women. But how safe are these drugs?
One of such allergy combating drugs that help women during pregnancy is Benadryl. There is no denying that pregnancy and allergies frequently go hand in hand. Hormone (estrogen and progesterone levels) fluctuations and other issues can make pregnancy a really tough time for people with nasal allergies. One way to reduce allergy symptoms when pregnant is by finding an over-the-counter antihistamine appropriate for pregnancy.
Benadryl is a good option since you can use it to treat many different allergies. But you may wonder if Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is safe to use during pregnancy, particularly since it has side effects. Yes, it is safe to take Benadryl during pregnancy. But if you’re wondering when you to take it during your pregnancy, you should read to the end of this post for more professional advice on taking Benadryl during pregnancy.
Doctors generally advise that it is safe to take Benadryl while pregnant to deal with allergies. Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved pregnant women.
However, no medication can be completely safe during pregnancy. It would be best if you only used Benadryl when necessary and exactly as directed by your physician. I have the inside scoop on what’s safe for pregnancy, so you don’t have to suffer from itchy eyes and a stuffy nose.
What is Benadryl?
Benadryl is, also known as Diphenhydramine, is a drug that helps to reduce the symptoms of allergy, hay fever and the common cold. Some minor symptoms can include watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, cough, rash, itchy eyes and nose. Apart from helping to reduce allergies, Benadryl is also used to cure dizziness, insect bites, vomiting and nausea. For some persons, Benadryl helps them relax and rest by falling asleep.
How Does Benadryl Work?
Benadryl performs its functions by stopping a substance known as Histamine that is released into the bloodstream by the white blood cells when fighting against an allergen in the body. Benadryl works by causing a drying effect on symptoms like a runny nose, itchy eyes, watery eyes, which are caused by a natural body called Acetylcholine.
Before using Benadryl to treat any symptoms, it is best to consult your Doctor. It comes in different forms and can be taken through your mouth or applied to your skin. It comes in the form of oral tablets, topical gel, topical spray, oral chewable tablets, liquid solution, topical stick, topical cream.
Why Do Women Take Benadryl During Pregnancy?
Benadryl is a drug brand name for Diphenhydramine (an antihistamine class), which helps reduce an overactive immune system triggered by cats, dust, pollen, and other allergens.
With Benadryl, you can get some relief from asthma, allergies, hay fever, and cold symptoms, like:
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Itchy eyes, nose, or throat
- Skin itching
- Skin rash
In addition, taking this OTC medication also eases or stops nausea, dizziness, and vomiting caused by car or motion sickness.
Since it can also cause drowsiness, some women also use it during pregnancy to alleviate sleeplessness.
Can You Take Benadryl While Pregnant? Side Effects of Benadryl
Like most medications, Benadryl also has side effects. Even though Benadryl is a drug, people can still experience its usual side effects. While pregnant, Benadryl may be more irritating than usual to you.
Low Blood Pressure
Benadryl can result in a drop in blood pressure, leading to symptoms like dizziness. It would help if you got up slowly when sitting or lying down to avoid feeling dizzy and risk falling.
In addition to low blood pressure, Benadryl can cause drowsiness. Avoid operating heavy machinery whenever you take Benadryl, as drowsiness may impair your judgment. Taking Benadryl while driving can render you incompetent, no matter whether you feel drowsy or not. So, refrain from driving at that moment. It should take only a few days for these [dizziness and drowsiness] side effects to disappear. If they persist or are severe, you should speak with your pharmacist or physician.
Other common side effects of Benadryl include:
- Headache and pain
- Dry throat
- Dry mouth and nose
Some of the unusual side effects of Benadryl during pregnancy include:
- Chest congestion
When you take two types of diphenhydramine medications simultaneously, you increase your dosage, which increases your side effects risk. An additional dosage counts, even if you take both a topical and an oral form.
Is It Safe To Take Benadryl During Pregnancy?
Taking Benadryl during pregnancy is generally safe. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies it as a Category B medication. Based on this classification, it is believed that this medication poses no risk to pregnant women or their unborn children. Whenever you suffer from an allergic reaction, you want something to alleviate the symptoms.
But you are not alone in seeking allergy relief during pregnancy. Approximately 15 percent of American women report taking antihistamines (Benadryl) while pregnant. Several medical studies suggest that Benadryl is probably safe for your baby. During pregnancy, pregnant women use Benadryl as an antihistamine to prevent allergic reactions.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that it’s totally risk-free. According to Dr. Taraneh Shirazian, OB-GYN at NYU Langone Health and founder of Saving Mothers, no controlled studies prove it’s safe during pregnancy.
People who are pregnant still need to take the drug cautiously. Clinical Pharmacist Jerry Wong, PharmD, a former staff at Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Methodist Hospital, says healthcare professionals recommend that pregnant women only take Benadryl to treat allergies when necessary. “Benadryl should only be used in the smallest effective dose for the shortest time,” he advises.
Is It Safe To Take Benadryl in the First Trimester?
The first trimester of pregnancy is crucial for pregnant women to be cautious. This exciting period – before you begin showing – is when a lot of the action unfolds quietly.
While your baby is only about three inches long by week 12, they will have virtually developed all their major organ systems – the heart, brain, lungs, everything – in the first trimester. As a result, the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are the riskiest. In the first trimester, your unborn child is most vulnerable to the effects of alcohol, illness, drugs, and medications.
Slone Center’s Birth Defect Study interviewed nearly 51,000 mothers for about 40 years. It rated the safety of medications commonly used during pregnancy. A drug’s highest rating is “good,” Its lowest is “none.” The study gave Diphenhydramine a very high passing rate of “fair.” For this reason, your Doctor will likely recommend only taking Benadryl, if necessary, during your first trimester of pregnancy. There is a possibility that this is related to reports from older studies (some several decades old) that Benadryl could cause birth defects. Newer studies have not found this to be true.
Contraindications and Adverse Interactions: Safer Ways to Take Benadryl
Consult Your Doctor Before Use
Ensure to speak with your healthcare provider if you are already taking a medication and plan to use Benadryl. Even if you only want to take Benadryl (especially in higher doses or long-term) your doctor is the best person to guide you or prescribe other alternatives.
Avoid Mixing Benadryl with Other Medicines
Medications can interact with one another sometimes, affecting each other’s effects on the body. This means that you may encounter contraindications and adverse drug interactions between your medication and Benadryl, which is risky for your pregnancy. Therefore, do not mix Benadryl with other medicines.
Benadryl and Alcohol
Benadryl and alcohol can also cause an adverse interaction. While it is not safe to consume alcohol while pregnant regardless of medication, it is vital to avoid mixing the two since drinking alcohol can make you drowsy and less alert. In addition to worsening Benadryl’s side effects, alcohol can also compromise your general safety.
Don’t take too much Benadryl
You can try taking less than the recommended dose to determine whether you require any more. In addition, it’s important to remember that Benadryl can pass to your baby through your breast milk, so you might want to try taking less now.
Refrain from Long-Term Benadryl Use
Refrain from taking any medication regularly during pregnancy unless prescribed by your Doctor. Whenever you decide to take Benadryl daily, you should speak with your Doctor.
Since pregnant women technically meditate for two, they should exercise caution when taking long-term medications. If you cannot find relief from your symptoms, consult with a physician.
If you continue to have allergies more frequently than four days a week, there is probably a better medication for you than Benadryl.
Speak to your physician if you need more than the occasional dose of medication to relieve your allergies.
Each pregnancy is unique. If you have questions about Benadryl while pregnant, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider.
Safe Alternatives to Benadryl While Pregnant
You might find that there are natural alternatives to Benadryl that will work for you, regardless of whether you take it for allergy relief or to get some much-needed sleep.
To soothe allergy symptoms during pregnancy, try these home remedies:
- Use saline nasal drops
- Saline eye drops
- Wash your nostrils with sterile water
- Place petroleum jelly (Vaseline) around your nostrils, opening
- Gargle saltwater for a scratchy or sore throat
- Use a humidifier in your home to moisten the air and ease nasal irritation
- Reducing exposure to allergens like pollen, mould, and animal dander may lessen allergy triggers.
You should always consult a doctor before taking any supplement, especially during pregnancy.
Here are some questions to ask:
- Locally produced pasteurized honey
- Pregnancy safe, low mercury fish oil supplements
Natural remedies to help you sleep include:
- Warm milk
- Chamomile essential oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Meditation before bed
Other over-the-counter drugs that can alleviate cold and allergy symptoms include:
- Alavert/Claritin (loratadine)
- Zyrtec (cetirizine),
- Allegra (fexofenadine)
- Steroid nasal sprays such as Nasonex, Flonase, or Rhinocort
Takeaway on Can You Take Benadryl While Pregnant
Dealing with allergies without intervention, especially while pregnant, can be incredibly challenging.
You can take Benadryl to relieve itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose if you’re pregnant and suffering from allergy symptoms. However, keep in mind the possible side effects.
Also, you can use homeopathic remedies such as saline drops to alleviate some of the symptoms.
In either case, speak with your healthcare provider about allergy relief options, including non-medical options and antihistamines such as Benadryl.
Can You Take Benadryl While Pregnant: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What If I Take Benadryl Before Realizing I’m Pregnant?
Do not worry if you took Benadryl before realizing you were pregnant. As far as you or your baby are concerned, over-the-counter medications such as Benadryl are considered safe.
Nonetheless, if you plan to continue to take the medication after learning you are pregnant and are taking it regularly, you should speak to a pharmacist or doctor.
While pregnant women should take extra caution with medication, call your physician before you stop or make any changes to your regular medication regimen.
How much Benadryl can you take while pregnant?
It is safe to take Benadryl while pregnant, and there have been no reports of congenital disabilities associated with it.
You can take the exact dosage as non-pregnant adults as a pregnant woman. The recommended dose is 1 to 2 tablets (25mg to 50mg) once every 4 to 6 hours as your Doctor’s prescribed.
Can Benadryl cause miscarriage?
It is possible to suffer a miscarriage during any pregnancy. One study found that antihistamines in early pregnancy, including Diphenhydramine, did not increase the risk of miscarriage.
In addition, researchers have found no connection between Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) and miscarriage.
Does Benadryl cross the placenta?
Yes, Benadryl does cross the placental barrier. However, the baby’s risks are primarily associated with its use during the first trimester.
But it may not cause any damage to the baby when used according to the right prescription or in lower doses.
What is the safest antihistamine during pregnancy?
Some allergy medications may be okay to take during pregnancy but talk to your doctor to ensure your safety.
Oral antihistamines, such as loratadine (Claritin), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), cetirizine (Zyrtec), chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), and fexofenadine (Allegra), are generally considered safe.
Is Benadryl safe during pregnancy for sleep?
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is safe at the recommended doses during pregnancy, even if taken for long periods. However, it is better taken occasionally while pregnant.
Be aware that a sleep medication over the recommended amount can harm you and your baby.
For pregnant women, Benadryl isn’t the best sleep aid. It is just a short-term solution and does not produce high-quality sleep.
Does Benadryl help with nausea?
Yes. While diphenhydramine in Benadryl is primarily for colds and allergic symptoms, it can help with nausea, vomiting, and dizziness from motion sickness.
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