Is It Safe To Take Allergy Medications During Pregnancy?

Written by Sudeepti • 

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

While this is one of the most amazing phases in your life, it is also one that is riddled with confusion and worry – that you should always do everything right for you and your baby’s health.

Even though you may be taking the best of precautions, it is common for certain allergies to make way towards you, while you are pregnant.Then you will wonder which allergy medicine while pregnant would be safer.What allergy medicine can I take while pregnant must be your question.

Fortunately, there are safe medicines for allergies. In fact it is good to use medicines to relieve yourself from certain allergies that create congestion and difficulty in respiration. Your comfortable breathing is very important for your growing baby. That being said, it is important to remember that any kind of medication first needs an approval and prescription from your doctor Allergy medicine during pregnancy should be taken under supervision.

What Is An Allergy?

Allergies are caused by a spontaneous reaction of your immune system towards substances that are usually harmless in nature.

  • For some individuals, these substances, called allergens, trigger release of antibodies and inflammatory chemicals in the exposed areas of their bodies.
  • This results in inflammation or damage to tissues in the corresponding parts of their body.

Symptoms Of Allergies:

Symptoms may vary depending on the area of the body exposed to allergens:

  • Running nose, sneezing
  • Coughing, wheezing
  • Redness, itching and watery eyes
  • Pain in ears, impaired listening
  • Rash and hives on skin
  • Abdominal pain, bloating
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

Especially in pregnancy, due to hormonal changes, there could be a swelling of nasal mucosa. This either aggravates an existing allergy or triggers one or just causes congestion in nasal path.


There are various causes for allergies:

  • Dust
  • Pets
  • Pollen
  • Food
  • Medication
  • Insect stings
  • Seasonal changes
  • Some allergies are hereditary

The severity and symptoms of allergies vary during different phases of pregnancy. Also the symptoms are linked to the cause. For example,

  • Foods that cause allergy may affect your digestive system.
  • Dust, pollen and pet allergies could affect your respiratory system.
  • Insect stings could cause you skin rash, etc.

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Allergies:

Allergies are diagnosed by the doctor through the common symptoms. Some causes are identified through the description of symptoms, food habits, ambience and life style. However, proper diagnosis is needed for the right treatment especially during pregnancy.

The methods adapted for diagnosis are:

  • Skin Test: Your skin is pricked and exposed to small amounts of allergens. Common areas of testing include forearm and back.
  • Patch Test: This is used to diagnose skin allergies. Skin is exposed to patches of allergens for more than twice in 48 hours.
  • Blood Test: This is the safest and simple method, as blood sample is taken through a single injection prick and you are not exposed to the allergens.

Treatment For Allergies In Pregnancy:

The medication used for allergies helps reduce the symptoms. Allergy shots are given for several years, to gradually vaccinate you in developing immunity to the allergens. This is known as immunotherapy.

Allergies might sometimes lead to asthma in some individuals and this condition should not be left untreated during pregnancy.

a. Safe Medicines For Allergies In Pregnancy:

There are certain medicines that are considered safe to be taken during pregnancy in cases of an allergy. You must be wondering about what allergy medicines I can take while pregnant. For that you need to:

  • Inform your caregiver that you are pregnant before any treatment or medication.
  • Check the dosage and recommended drug, with your doctor, according to your health condition and phase of pregnancy.

[ Read:  List Of Safe Antibiotics During Pregnancy  ]

The safe allergy medicine while pregnant are:

  • Antihistamines: Oral is recommended
  • Nasal sprays: Saline ones are recommended.
  • Allergy shots: Only if you have been taking them prior to pregnancy as well

This answers your question of,can I take allergy medicines while pregnant.

[ Read: Which Medicines Are Safe During Pregnancy ]

b. Unsafe Medicines For Allergies In Pregnancy:

The question of what allergy medicines is safe during pregnancy arises.The following medicines should NOT be taken by you during pregnancy as these are not safe:

  • Decongestants: Either as a pill or as nasal spray. These should be avoided especially in the first trimester, as the risks of birth defects might increase for your baby.
  • Nasal Sprays: Avoid taking Antihistamine nasal sprays, as they are harmful for both you and your baby’s health.
  • Allergy shots: Starting allergy shots during pregnancy is not recommended as that might affect your modulating immunity.

Few of the medicines listed above may be recommended after the first trimester.

Few Tips To Safely Avoid Allergies:

Getting an allergy medication while pregnant can be quite tricky, especially if it is serious. Try the following to avoid allergies during this phase:

  • Avoid the food that causes allergies. Take alternatives for the supplements you are deprived of by avoiding such food.
  • Avoid dust allergy by keeping your ambience dust free. Vacuum cleaning has to be adapted to avoid the spreading of dust particles in the air.
  • Pollution and pollen allergy could be avoided by keeping away yourself from the flora causing you problem. Close the doors and windows between 5 PM to 10 PM when the pollen activity and pollution are high.
  • Keep the bedding and pillows clean. They have to be washed in hot water to kill the dust mites.
  • Stay away from pets that cause allergy.
  • Exercise regularly, this helps in reducing nasal inflammation.
  • Drink enough water, at least 3 liters a day, to keep your system clean.
  • Use nasal sprays or strips in the night after consulting your doctor to have undisturbed sleep. Enough rest is also important in pregnancy.

[ Read: How Much Water To Drink In Pregnancy  ]

Whether you are under allergy medication prior to pregnancy or diagnosed with allergy during pregnancy, do consult your doctor for the safe medicines to be used during pregnancy. Only a doctor can better judge on the benefits and risks arising due to medication.You yourself cannot decide what allergy medicine is safe during pregnancy.

Do share your tips and experiences with other readers in the comment section below.

References : 1 , 2 , 3

 Recommended Articles:

Was this article helpful?

    Latest Articles