People experience at least two to three common colds in the winter and spring. Pregnant women are not an exception. There is no cure for colds. You can treat symptoms like feeling crappy, but it doesn’t make the cold disappear faster.
Multi-symptom formulas are a common feature of many over-the-counter medications (OTC) that you can purchase without a prescription. These medications are designed to treat all symptoms of a cold, including body aches, congestion and coughing. However, not everyone gets a cold. mucinex during pregnancy should avoid unnecessary medication.
Instead of looking for multi-symptom drugs, follow these guidelines to find the most effective medication that will treat your symptoms. As always, inform your nurse or Ob/Gyn about any OTC drugs you are taking.
Common cold symptoms: What can you do?
Dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant, is used in OTC medicines such as Robitussin to decrease coughing. There are two types of cough suppressants: immediate-release and long-release. Pregnant women can take 120 mg within 24 hours. Multi-symptom preparations containing dextromethorphan include the “DM” part of their names.
Guaifenesin, another medication commonly found in cough medicines such as Mucinex, is also a common ingredient. It works as an expectorant and thins mucus in your throat or chest so that you can cough it up more easily. You can choose from immediate-release and extended-release forms. You should not exceed 2,400mg in 24 hours.
Codeine was used in the past to suppress coughs. These are not recommended for pregnant women. Studies have shown that they don’t work well. We should also reduce the number of opioid-containing medicines in our medicine cabinets. Honey may be beneficial for children with nighttime coughing. This is a good option for pregnant women. Honey is a good choice if you’re looking to taste it. It is not as clear as cold medicine that has honey as a flavoring.
Sinus pressure and stuffy nose
Decongestant medication reduce stuffiness and sinus pressure. They constrict the blood vessels in the nose which decreases swelling. Both pseudoephedrine (also known as Sudafed) and phenylephrine can be purchased over-the-counter and are safe to use during pregnancy. Women with high blood pressure should consult a doctor before taking pseudoephedrine. This drug can increase blood pressure, and may cause jitters or racing heartbeats.
Pseudephedrine is used to make methamphetamine. It’s kept behind the pharmacy counter. To purchase it, you will need to show identification. Stores also keep track of how much you have purchased. A typical decongestant can only be taken at 240 mg per 24 hours.
Watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing
These symptoms can be explained by histamine release. This is an immune reaction to an invading viral infection. It is safe to take chlorpheniramine (such as Triaminic Allergy) and diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl) during pregnancy. Both can cause sleepiness so it is best to take them at night. Maximum daily intake of chlorpheniramine in 24 hours is 32 mg
Antihistamines show the best results when compared with placebos within the first few days. Between days 3 and 10, patients didn’t experience any relief. Patients didn’t report any relief between days three and 10.
For a sore throat, pregnant women can take Tylenol (acetaminophen) with a daily limit of 3,000mg. If the sore throat is caused by postnasal drip, an antihistamine might be helpful. It can dry out those secretions.
Lozenges or sprays containing benzocaine (a local anesthetic) can help to numb the throat. Chloraseptic and Menthol, which contain phenol, can also soothe irritation. Hard candy can increase saliva flow, which may reduce irritation.
One word about antibiotics
Many patients call to request antibiotics for a common cold. Usually, they have been suffering from symptoms for several days. Some cases of antibiotics may be appropriate, such as strep throat and sinus infections due to bacteria. Antibiotics don’t work against the viruses that cause the common flu. Overprescribing antibiotics to viral infections can lead to antibiotic resistance. This means that bacteria grows stronger and is more difficult to defeat with antibiotics.
A doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to treat cold symptoms. It’s typically a three-day course of medication. Although the patient may feel better once they have finished the medication, they are likely to be able to recover in the same timeframe without the drug.
Let’s sum it all:
Look for medication that is specifically formulated to treat your symptoms if you have a cold during pregnancy. Avoid multi-symptom formulas, particularly those that contain acetaminophen. Because it is in so many medications, it can be easy for people to consume more acetaminophen per day than they should. It can take up to a week for cold symptoms to disappear.