Over the Counter Medications
Just because you can
buy it without a prescription does not mean that it
is not harmful. Many over the counter medications have
known side-effects for pregnancy. Others are deemed
safe by doctors, even though the mechanism by which
they work would indicate that they are not safe for
Cough and Cold medications
- These often contain alcohol, and always contain substances
which either have unknown effects during pregnancy,
or which are contraindicated.
Pain Relievers -
is not safe during pregnancy, because it is a blood
thinner. It can cause problems to the embryo in early
pregnancy, and problems with the mother later.
is generally considered safe, but may cause problems
in situations where there are other problems already
complicating the picture.
- Ibuprofen and Naproxen Sodium
are vaso constrictors. That means they constrict the
blood vessels, and may restrict blood flow to the uterus.
In fact, they are often used for precisely that purpose
by women who are experiencing heavy menstruation or
miscarriage. Ibuprofen has also been suggested as a
potential aggravator to PCOS, and improper ovulation.
Laxatives - Many of
these can cause uterine contractions. Others, such as
psyllium husk based laxatives, and some stool softeners,
are considered to be fairly safe. The affect on fertility
and early pregnancy is not well-known.
Decongestants - Generally
not recommended during the first three months of pregnancy.
This means you should avoid them if you are unsure.
Antacids - Some are
questionable, calcium based antacids are generally considered
safe in moderate amounts. Sugarfree antacids often contain aspartame.
Anti-diarrheal or anti-nauseants
- Generally considered unsafe for pregnancy. A little
peppermint tea for nausea, or adjustments to your diet
are a much safer option.
Throat lozenges - Some
of these contain ingredients which have questionable
safety for pregnancy. Others are high in sugar, and
if you have high blood sugar, you'll want to watch your
consumption of them. Some are nothing more than lemon
or fruit flavored syrup candies, and they are generally
safe for pregnancy, if not for your teeth!
The general rule is,
don't take anything that you don't absolutely need to
take, and then take the least amount, or the safest
type. Be especially careful just prior to ovulation,
and continue to be careful until you are sure you are
not pregnant, or that you ARE pregnant and the most
unstable developmental phases are finished (generally
around 3 months).
That is a long time
to be careful. But if you can manage it, it can make
a big difference in your ability to carry a healthy
baby to term. And avoiding every unnecessary exposure
that you reasonably can, may help you to get out of
a miscarriage cycle, if it has been contributing to
There are also a lot
of herbal supplements that cross over into the over
the counter range, which are covered in the section
on that topic.