Pregnancy is a time to be extra careful about what you take. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should avoid medication completely. But if you take over-the-counter (OTC) medication while pregnant, it’s vital to ensure it won’t harm your baby. Below are seven types of OTC medications that you should never take during pregnancy:
Painkillers are one of the most common over-the-counter medications women take during pregnancy. While they may sometimes be necessary, these painkillers can cause birth defects, miscarriage, and even preterm labor. An example of a brand name known to cause autism and ADHD in children is Tylenol (Acetaminophen). It is often used as an alternative to ibuprofen or aspirin for pregnant women.
On behalf of expectant mothers who used acetaminophen throughout their pregnancies and kids who suffered problems, a Tylenol ADHD lawsuit has been formed. The lawsuit has proven useful in filing cases against the drug’s producers and distributors.
If you or a loved one used Tylenol during pregnancy and your kid was later identified as having ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder, you could be qualified to submit this lawsuit claim.
On the other hand, there have been many studies on the use of aspirin while pregnant, but there is not enough evidence that taking this drug during pregnancy would be harmful. However, aspirin can increase your risk of miscarriage, so you should talk with your doctor before using this medication during pregnancy.
Heartburn is a common condition that affects up to 80% of pregnant women. It’s caused by the widening of your stomach, also known as your abdomen, which shifts the position of your esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.
Heartburn can lead to a more serious condition. These include acid reflux, or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). You may have tried over-the-counter medications for heartburn relief before pregnancy and found them helpful. But studies have shown that taking these medications during pregnancy is unsafe.
Vitamin A Supplements
According to Grand View Research, in 2021, vitamins were the most popular element in dietary supplements, accounting for more than 30.8% of market value.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin essential in maintaining healthy skin, eyes, and immune systems. Unfortunately, it can also be toxic if taken in high doses. It is because the body doesn’t store excess vitamin A like other fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamins D and E. Instead, the liver processes excess amounts of this nutrient and excretes it through urine.
Vitamin A occurs naturally in foods like animal products (liver), fish oil, green leafy vegetables (spinach), citrus fruits, and palm oil. It’s also available as a multivitamin supplement or at higher doses than you’d get from food sources.
Cough and Cold Medicine
If you’re suffering from a cold or fever, it’s tempting to reach for cough and cold medicine. Unfortunately, it may be tempting to take it without even realizing that pregnant women should avoid the medication entirely. A report by IBIS World states that being so common and easy to buy, the cough and cold medicine manufacturing OTC market will be worth $11 billion in sales in 2022.
However, cough and cold medications can cause drowsiness and hallucinations, which is likely not something you want while pregnant. Additionally, these medications contain ingredients that can cause birth defects such as cleft palate or heart defects in babies.
Cough and cold medicine can also be addictive if taken frequently over time. Therefore, it’s essential not to rely on them too often, even if they are necessary when pregnant.
Cough syrup contains meds like codeine which could potentially harm your baby when taken during pregnancy. Again, though, the risk is relatively low compared with other risks associated with this type of medication, such as those listed above.
Caffeine Pills or Diet Pills
Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause jitteriness and heart palpitations. As a result, it’s not recommended for pregnant women. Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and over-the-counter medications like diet or headache pills.
If you’re craving an energy boost during pregnancy but don’t want to reach for caffeine drinks or pills, try drinking water instead. It will help keep your body hydrated while also giving you the energy that comes from staying well-hydrated.
Antihistamines are a class of over-the-counter medications used to treat allergies. Common antihistamines include Benadryl, Claritin, and Zyrtec. These drugs are safe for adults but can cause drowsiness in the fetus during pregnancy. Drowsiness is dangerous for newborns because it disrupts their sleep cycles. In addition, it can lead to irritability and difficulty falling asleep at night.
Additionally, some antihistamines cause dry mouth, which may increase the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), or stop working. Both circumstances are risky for babies since they interfere with their capacity to breathe correctly via their mouth and nose. But, again, it is because they are not taken as directed by a physician or pharmacist.
Acne medication is generally considered safe to use during pregnancy, but there are some precautions to keep in mind. Acne medications fall into two categories: topical creams and oral antibiotics.
The two most common acne treatments are benzoyl peroxide and retinoids, both of which can cause birth defects if taken early on in your pregnancy. You should talk to your doctor about whether or not it’s safe for you to continue with these medications during your first trimester. Also, consult about the risks associated with this type of medication.
If a woman has been taking antibiotics for acne treatment when she is pregnant and continues using them the entire time, it can cause complications. There have been cases where the antibiotic has caused cleft lips or palates in newborns, which are the beginnings of a cleft lip.
Only Take Medications That Your Doctor Prescribes
OTC medicines have a huge market. According to Statista, in 2022, the OTC pharmaceuticals industry will generate US$137.00 billion in revenue. The market may expand by 5.54% yearly (CAGR 2022-2027).
If you ought to buy the medication and are unsure whether it is safe during pregnancy, consult your doctor first. Remember that all medications have risks and benefits, so ensure to weigh these against each other before making any decisions.
Only take medications that have been approved by the FDA for use during pregnancy and only if they have been prescribed for you specifically. Never take over-the-counter drugs or dietary supplements unless instructed by your healthcare provider.