woman with a headacheYou have a pounding headache and an aching back. Normally you’d pop a couple of Advil and be done with it, but now that you’re pregnant, you’re not sure what’s safe and what’s not. While you should always check with your health care practitioner before taking any medications while pregnant, the following information should help you navigate those drugstore shelves and keep your baby safe.

Pain Relievers
Acetaminophen-based pain relievers are used almost exclusively by ob-gyn doctors and hospitals to treat pregnant women’s aches and pains. Several studies have been done and acetaminophen hasn’t been linked to birth defects or pregnancy complications.

  • Tylenol (Acetaminophen)
  • Extra Strength Tylenol (Acetaminophen)
  • Tylenol gelcaps (Acetaminophen)

Cold, Flu & Sinus
You should always check with your doctor before taking a cold or flu product as many of them can contain ingredients that can be harmful. The following list contains several medications that are generally considered safe for pregnant mothers:

  • Actifed Cold & Sinus (Chlorphreniramine Maleate)
  • Theraflu (Chlorphreniramine Maleate)
  • Vicks 44 Cough & Cold (Chlorphreniramine Maleate)
  • Alka Seltzer Plus (Doxylamine)
  • NyQuil (Doxylamine)
  • Tylenol Cold & Sinus (Acetaminophen)

Pregnancy-related heartburn can be a real pain, but fortunately, several antacids are considered completely safe for pregnant women to take. Still, it’s best to double-check with your practitioner before taking any medication while pregnant.

  • Tagamet HB (Cimetidine)
  • Pepcid AC (Famotidine)
  • Zantac 75 (Ranitidine)
  • TUMS (calcium carbonate)

If you’re pregnant, it can be hard to control itchy eyes and a runny nose as most prescription and over-the-counter allergy meds are off-limits. Still, there are a few that are safe for pregnant mothers.

  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)
  • Tylenol severe allergy (Diphenhydramine, Acetaminophen)
  • Tavist (Clemastine)

There are a few anti-fungal and anti-yeast medications are safe for treating yeast and other fungal infections while pregnant.

  • Gyne-lotrimin 3 (Clotrimazole)
  • Lotrimin AF (Clotrimazole)

Anti-Nausea and Anti-Diarrheal
If morning sickness (or just the plain old flu) has you feeling down-and-out, there are a few OTC medications that can take away that queasiness and have you back to eating-for-two in no time.

  • Emetrol (Phosphorated carbohydrate)
  • Dramamine (Dimenhydrinate, Meclizine)
  • Imodium AD (Loperamide)

Thanks to Dr. Miles Howard, a practicing OB/GYN and Department Chairman of Obstetrics & Gynecology at West Valley Hospital, in Goodyear, Arizona.