Now you are expecting, congratulations! Feels like on cloud nine right? Apart from this exhilarating feeling, there are of course some risk factors that that can be accompanied if one has no knowledge at all. One of the common things about this is safe medications during pregnancy. It is very important to know if it is fine to take this kind of medicine or not, well your baby and you are at stake after all. One popular medication used to treat congestion is Sudafed. Is this safe to take during pregnancy?
What is Sudafed?
Sudafed, also known by the generic name “pseudoephedrine hydrochloride,” is a decongestant used to relieve stuffy noses and sinus congestion.
Sudafed’s Pregnancy Category
Sudafed carries a pregnancy Category C designation. This means that studies conducted on pregnant animals have demonstrated adverse effects on the fetus when Sudafed was administered, but no well-controlled studies have been conducted on actual pregnant women. The studies conducted on animals didn’t result in any fetal birth defects, but, when given in high doses, Sudafed resulted in a decrease in average weight, length and bone formation rate.
Sudafed Dosage Information
The recommended dosage of Sudafed is two tablets every four to six hours. However, pregnant women should really talk to their doctors first before taking it and ask about the recommended dosage.
Who Shouldn’t Take Sudafed?
If you’re pregnant and suffer from hypertension, you should avoid taking Sudafed since it can increase your blood pressure. If this is the case, check with your doctor about other safer alternatives to relieve your congestion.
Risk of Birth Defects
If a pregnant woman useddecongestant medications such as Sudafed in the first trimester of pregnancy, the risk of the baby for certain birth rare defects increases according to a small study.
Symptoms of nasal congestion due to the common cold or allergies are not life-threatening but they can be downright uncomfortable and unpleasant. They generally go away on their own over time. Many doctors suggest non-drug treatment for nasal congestion during pregnancy due to these reasons. Some of these options include:
-increased fluid intake: helps flush cold viruses out of the body, (when we say fluid, it is basically: water)
-rest: helps the body fight off illness
-hot showers or vaporizers: provide steam to help clear nasal passages
-humidifiers: add moisture to the air and help your sinuses drain
A note about Sudafed PE
Sudafed PE is a little different from regular Sudafed because it contains phenylephrine HCl instead of pseudoephedrine HCI. Phenylephrine HCl is not considered safe for pregnant women, especially in the first trimester, because of its association with birth defects. When taken orally, phenylephrine HCl can narrow the blood vessels in your uterus, which can decrease blood flow. This prevents your baby from getting enough oxygen, which can slow your baby’s heartbeat and even cause birth defects.
Always Check With Your Doctor
The best thing to do is always consult a professional either to take this type of medication or not. Do not take any compulsive steps just because you were fine with it when you were still not expecting. It’s a different story now. You already have a life inside of you. At the end of the day, whether you take Sudafed during your pregnancy is up to you and your doctor. So, definitely check with your OB first.