One of the most frequent questions from pregnant women is, “Can I take Benadryl while pregnant?”
Let’s admit, during pregnancy, all medications seem suspicious. Not just medicines, the food we eat also raise many questions in our mind! So it’s understandable that many of us doubt Benadryl during pregnancy.
Let’s first understand why and when Benadryl is used. After that
Allergens lead to the release of histamine that causes an inflammatory response. Benadryl is an antihistamine drug that alleviates the histamine reaction and soothes you.
So can Benadryl harm the baby inside you?
Antihistamines can cross placenta but Benadryl while pregnant is safe for use. Benadryl is a sedative and induces sleep. Taking a moderate dose of Benadryl during pregnancy can also help in insomnia. Women prone to seasonal allergies with symptoms like sneezing can take Benadryl during pregnancy.
What is Benadryl?
Benadryl (Generic name: Diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine widely used to treat symptoms of allergy, hay fever, and the common cold. These symptoms include skin rash, itching, watery eyes, itchy eyes, nose or throat, hives, cough, runny nose, and sneezing.
Benadryl is also prescribed in cases of motion sickness. Since it is a sedative and induces sleep, it used to prevent or lessen nausea, vomiting, and dizziness seen in motion sickness.
The drug is available in two major forms, tablets and syrup. Other well-known brand names are Sominex, Unisom, and Nytol.
Is it safe to take Benadryl when pregnant?
Benadryl is a class B drug according to FDA. Just like other antihistamines such as Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec you can safely take Benadryl during pregnancy.
Benadryl chemically is Diphenhydramine, but market versions include combinations with other drugs. You must read the exact composition of Benadryl you are taking while pregnant. There are variants such Total Benadryl for allergy and sinus which have pseudoephedrine.
The decongestant for relief from the stuffy nose in higher dose is a stimulant. Drugs with stimulating effect lead to developmental defects in the fetus.
Dosage Of Benadryl While Pregnant
Just like other things you need to follow precautions for taking Benadryl while pregnant. How much Benadryl can I take while pregnant? Over the counter medicines have dosage mentioned in the instructions leaflet. You can continue taking the moderate allowed dosage of Benadryl.
The risks associated with taking Benadryl while pregnant depend on the dosage. When the drug is not contraindicated for you, allowed dosages will not harm.
Dosage of Benadryl Pregnancy first trimester
The first trimester allows you take 25-50 mg of Benadryl. Benadryl while pregnant first trimester is safe in the allowed dosage. During the first trimester, there is less risk of Benadryl side effects for the fetus.
Dosage of Benadryl Pregnancy second trimester
Later in the second trimester, you need to moderate the dose to less than 25 mg. Benadryl while pregnant 2nd trimester is also not going to harm your baby. Now you need to have a lower dose not crossing the lower limit.
During the second trimester, your body is less prone to allergies. The immune system weakens maximum during the first trimester. You may need it for sedative effects to relieve sciatica pain or hip pain.
Dosage of Benadryl Pregnancy third trimester
Later in the third trimester, you need to moderate the dose to less than 25 mg. For Benadryl while pregnant 3rd trimester you cannot take more than 25 mg in 6 hours. As the due date for labor approaches, you must consult your doctor about taking such drugs.
You must talk to your doctor about it before modifying your dose.
Can I use Benadryl cream while pregnant?
Applying topical Benadryl cream during pregnancy is more promising when it comes to the safety of the fetus. When you use the cream on the skin, a majority of the cream stays in the skin layers. As the antihistamine does not enter circulation, it cannot reach the fetus. It is best to use Benadryl cream during pregnancy whenever possible.
What are the risks of taking Benadryl during pregnancy?
- Withdrawal symptoms in baby appear when you take more than 150 mg of the drug.
- Overdose can increase the risk of preterm labor. Diphenhydramine in large dose acts like oxytocin hormone. It is responsible for lactation and labor.
- Combination of Benadryl with other drugs can lead to birth defects such as cleft palate.
- The chances of getting the disease are higher when a pregnant mother over consumes Benadryl.
- Benadryl is a sedative and causes dizziness. So you need to avoid work that requires focus after taking Benadryl.
- Benadryl while breastfeeding can alter milk composition and lower the yield. Side effects such as irritability and fatigue are observed in newborn upon excess intake.
Natural allergy remedies while pregnant
You cannot prevent allergies if they are seasonal. All you can do is cover your face when you go outdoors or avoid having pets.
Whether or not to take an antihistamine during pregnancy remains elusive. Not enough has been studied about the effects of common anti-allergen on human pregnancy.
You have to trust what your doctor says or try natural remedies for allergies during pregnancy.
Allergies during pregnancy don’t behave similarly with all women. While some women get rid of their preexisting allergies during pregnancy, and others get a new allergy.
Ten effective natural remedies for allergies during pregnancy
Natural ways to treat allergies during pregnancy
1) Nettle leaf
The herb prevents the release of histamine from the mast cells upon entry of allergen. Allergen itself does not bring the discomfort. Instead, it is the release of histamine that leads to symptoms of allergy during pregnancy. Drinking extracts of nettle leaves alleviate seasonal allergies during pregnancy. You can add nettle leaves to your herbal tea.
2) Cashew milk or curd
Instead of taking an artificial sedative for insomnia during pregnancy opt for cashew milk. The omega fatty acids in the cashew boost the immune system.
Milk and milk products have proteins and natural biota that compensates for a compromised immune system. Probiotics during pregnancy will also improve your baby’s resistance to allergies.
Can allergy affect your baby? No, unless the allergy is severe and leafing to asthmatic symptoms your baby is safe. Your baby needs nutrients and oxygen. The supply of these along with the removal of toxins is essential.
3) Apple cider vinegar
The best natural remedy for allergies during pregnancy is the use of Apple cider vinegar. You can take it along with warm water or as a dressing for your salad.
The lymph nodes and circulation are vital for your ability to fight foreign particles. Apple cider vinegar boosts immune by rejuvenating the lymphatic system.
Along with allergies apple cider vinegar works for heartburn during pregnancy.
4) Saline nasal spray
Natural allergy remedies for flu-like symptoms include saline nasal spray. All you need is salt dissolved in warm water. Wash your nose with this saline and sneeze out all dust and dirt. The sprays available in the market are steroidal and lead to vasodilation. Such drugs are not safe during pregnancy.
Try homemade nasal saline spray for seasonal allergies during pregnancy.
Take precautions such as covering your nose and avoid going out in open fields. Air currents have pollens that lead to sneezing and pregnancy allergy.
The best home remedy for skin allergy during pregnancy is the use of honey. You can take honey along lemonade. It will fight morning sickness and refresh you. Along with that honey also boosts immunity and has a whole lot of benefits for the baby. You can drink honey along warm milk.
6) Ginger tea
If you have your allergy worse during pregnancy, it implies that your immune system is compromised. When you are in the first trimester morning sickness leads to loss of appetite and dehydration. It is riskier for you, and now you will easily catch other infections. All this, in turn, affects your baby’s development.
The herbal concoction of ginger lemon tea works best for flu-like symptoms of allergies. Ginger has the properties to relax the sensitized nasal membrane and bring relief.
7) Epsom salt bath
Alternative for Benadryl while pregnant to cure pain is a hot Epsom salt bath. Magnesium and sulfur-rich salt help to relax muscles and pain due to sciatica. It flushes out toxins and soothes the pain.
8) Cumin steam
Nasal congestion due to allergy or sinus during pregnancy hampers breathing. Shortness of breath due to compression by the uterus increases in such a condition. Pharyngeal breathing leads to dryness of mouth and throat.
Taking cumin seeds vapors is a home remedy for sinus during pregnancy. The puffs for asthma are not very safe for pregnant women. Boil some cumin seeds in hot water and take the steam of the extract to relieve nasal congestion.
Another herbal remedy for allergies during pregnancy is quercetin. The chemical which is present in broccoli, tomatoes, berries and vitamin c rich fruits controls histamine release. The antioxidant properties alleviate the symptoms of histamine reaction such as inflammation.
You can get supplements of Quercetin or add broccoli to soups and salads. The anti-inflammatory property treats food and seasonal allergy. It cures symptoms like watery eyes, swelling and pain just like medical prescriptions.
10) Air purifier
While you are addressing the allergy, you also need to prevent the cause. Using humidifiers and air purifier will check allergens inside your house and workplace.