Five Safe Medications to Take during Pregnancy

Most pregnant women have doubts and concerns in regard to the use of medications during pregnancy. It's always safer not to self-prescribe so the risks of affecting the baby are lessened.
Five Safe Medications to Take during Pregnancy

Written by Thady Carabaño

Last update: 26 May, 2022

Knowing what safe medications to take during pregnancy is a big deal as some of them could damage the health of a baby.

Pregnancy is one of the most meaningful experiences in the life of a woman. From the moment of conception, your body initiates a natural process of changes. Both physical and psychological such as nausea, dizziness, vomiting, pain, and a plethora of discomforts that are quite common to this condition. Also, the mother-to-be will begin to experience hormonal changes. This is all relatively normal, especially during the first three months of pregnancy.

However, some complications may arise such as vaginal and renal infections, high blood pressure, Gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, preterm labor, and other frequent disorders. For many of these, you’ll require medication and ideally, you’ll only take them under medical supervision.

Safe Medications to Take during Pregnancy

A reclining woman in pain.
There are safe medications you can take during pregnancy but you should always take them under the supervision of your doctor or pharmacist.

There are many safe medications you can take during pregnancy. In addition to the common discomfort associated with gestation, a mother-to-be may be afflicted by other conditions due to contamination with external biological agents and need medication in order to alleviate them.

Yes, there are many over-the-counter medications in pharmacies that can treat colds, coughs, diarrhea, constipation, nausea… But it’s best that you consult your doctor before taking them as some may not be fitting for pregnant women.

Avoid medications that offer relief for multiple symptoms. For example, if you take a pain killer for a headache, avoid the ones that also contain antihistaminics and decongestants.

Now, we’ll tell you about some of the most common, safe medications you can take during pregnancy:

1. Paracetamol or Acetaminophen

These are painkillers (analgesics) and are recommended to reduce the inflammation that leads to pain. Both provide relief against minor anomalies and they even reduce some symptoms of the common cold.

2. Clotrimazole or Miconazole

These are antifungals and are common medications during pregnancy as they help you get rid of fungal vaginal infections. It’s also effective if symptoms such as burning and vaginal discharge are present.

3. Magnesium Antacids

The best-known brands of antacids, which contain magnesium, are effective and safe when it comes to calming the annoying symptoms of heartburn. This condition is very common during pregnancy, especially in the final weeks of gestation, previous to delivery.

4. Loratadine or Chlorpheniramine

Either one of these antihistamines is the most widely recommended for allergies. Both drugs relieve nasal congestion when the mother-to-be is exposed to allergens.

5. Milax or Senna (Senokot)

These medications are laxatives and effective in the treatment of constipation –another common symptom among pregnant women. Particularly in the last months of pregnancy.

Safe Medications and Vitamins

Safe medications: A woman sitting on a bed with three bowls of fruit in front of her.
Every pregnant woman will benefit from including vitamin B12 and folic acid in their diet. As usual, ask your doctor about it.

Vitamins and food supplements are essential for the proper development of a fetus. Your obstetrician or midwife will indicate which are the most favorable for your pregnancy.

Still, the most commonly taken ones during the gestation period are vitamin C, for the proper formation of baby’s blood vessels; folic acid, for the production of red blood cells; vitamin D, to produce healthy teeth and bone tissue, and iron, to nourish the development of the baby and the placenta.

However, although vitamins are available over the counter in pharmacies, don’t overdose, more doesn’t mean better. Further, you mainly eliminate them through your urine and so you wouldn’t only waste vitamins but also money. You can get plenty of vitamins through various food sources and these provide higher quality.

Safe Medications and Natural Remedies

A display of herbs and spices.
Natural remedies are another great way to treat discomfort and even pain. Always consult your doctor about it.

Apart from all the medications mentioned above, there are also many options in the form of natural home remedies. Sometimes the symptoms of discomfort that are present during pregnancy can be relieved just by changing daily habits. Even just by doing activities that are positive for your health.

If you adopt a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy, then you won’t have to resort to excessive use of drugs. Many of these jewels of guidance are present since ancient times and they do work in most cases. We dare you to try them.

Of course, it’s also essential that you follow a proper healthy diet and remain as active as you can. Staying healthy during pregnancy is essential as it diminishes the symptoms that lead you to the use of medications. Also, having a set schedule to sleep, relax and rest is vital to your health.

Don’t Self-Medicate

Most women know that they should only take safe medications during pregnancy. But if you’re pregnant and ailed by some kind of gestational condition or something of greater complications, then your doctor will prescribe medication to keep it under control. The most important thing here is to preserve your good health and your baby’s.

Self-medication is seldom a good idea. Particularly during the first trimester because it’s the most sensitive developmental stage of a fetus. Always consult a professional before taking any medication, supplements and even natural home remedies, even those considered common and harmless during pregnancy.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Gimeno, FJ Abad, et al. “Categorías de riesgo de los medicamentos utilizados durante el embarazo: Guía rápida de consulta.” Farm Aten Prim 3 (2005): 49-61.
  • Taboada Lugo, Noel, et al. “Uso de medicamentos durante el embarazo y su posible efecto teratogénico.” Revista Cubana de Medicina General Integral 20.4 (2004): 0-0.
  • Vergel Rivera, Germán, and Alicia Zapata Martínez. “Embarazo y medicamentos en un área de salud.” Revista Cubana de Medicina General Integral 15.3 (1999): 227-231.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.