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Ask The Doctor: Can I Take Cough Or Cold Medicine While Pregnant?
  • Pregnancy brings a lot of changes to a woman’s body, and they can also be susceptible to illnesses, including cough and colds. When a bug hits, it can be tempting to reach for cough or cold medicine, but is it safe for you?

    Is cough or cold medicine safe for pregnant women?

    According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the use of over-the-counter drugs like cold medications have not been adequately researched for use during pregnancy. And while some types of mucolytic are safe for pregnant women to take during pregnancy, you’ll still need a consultation and a prescription from your doctor before taking it, according to Dr. Mariel S. Nevado-Gammad, M.D., a fellow of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society and the Philippine Society for the Study of Trophoblastic Disease.

    In a previous article for SmartParenting.com.ph, Dr. Nevado-Gammad emphasized that any sign of illness warrants a trip to the doctor. “Your doctor will need to take a thorough history of the illness and perform a physical examination so that we have an idea of what is the cause of the disease,” she tells Smart Parenting. “Please avoid consults over the phone or through text messages—we don’t want a misdiagnosis, especially if we’re dealing with pregnant patients.”

    What other parents are reading

    Iyou’re wary of drinking medicine, the doctor suggests natural remedies like sucking on ice chips, drinking warm tea (try non-caffeinated lemon or ginger), or gargling with warm salt water for relief. She also suggests increasing your vitamin C intake.


    If you have a sore throat but don’t like the taste of salt water solution, here’s another alternative: Place a peeled and chopped ginger in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Pour warm ginger water in a cup and add honey or sugar to taste. You may gargle or drink this.

    If you have a humidifier, you can use it to relieve a stuffy nose, according to What To Expect. Just make sure not to run it full-time, and to choose a warm-mist instead of a cold-mist humidifier.

    What other parents are reading

    Avoid taking over-the-counter medication unless prescribed by your doctor. Self-medication is not an option especially when you’re pregnant, so don’t take any chances!

    All pregnant moms want to give birth to healthy babies, but don’t forget that you also need TLC during this stage. Dr. Nevado-Gammad recommends taking plenty of rest, eating healthy foods, and increasing fluid intake. Remember: a healthy and happy mom means a healthy and happy baby, too!

    Need to take antibiotics while pregnant? Here's a guide on what's safe and what to avoid during pregnancy.

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