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Pregnancy Topics..

You are here : home > Pregnancy > Medical Aspects of Pregnancy > Anti-Histamines


Taking anti-histamines in pregnancy should be avoided as much as possible because of the side effects associated with it. Learn about the safety concerns with anti-histamines in pregnancy.

Antihistamines diminish or abolish the main actions of the histamine in the body, probably by occupying the receptor sites in effector cells to the exclusion of the histamine. They do not prevent the production of the histamine.  Some of these anti-allergics, which when taken in high doses during late pregnancy, can cause neurological disturbances in the child. 


Products: Chlorpheniramine Maleate, Diphenhydramine
For Children: ---------
For Pregnant Women: Caution
For Breastfeeding Mothers: ---------
Contra-indications*: ---------
Caution: Causes drowsiness

Anti-histamines are a kind of medicine that is given to treat allergic rhintis and other medical problems such as vomiting, nausea, insomnia, dizziness and motion sickness. It is worth mentioning at this point that there have been several instances of babies born with birth defects, when the mother took these medicines in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Possible Risk Factors with Use in Pregnancy

Since the possible risk factors cannot be ruled out completely, here are some of them that you must take a note of. Please take a look below:
  • Cleft palate
  • Cleft lip
  • Gastroschisis
  • Neutral tube defects
  • Hypospadias
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Spina bfida
  • Eye or ear defects

Claritin and Benadryl are some of the examples of anti-histamines that are known to increase chances of birth defects in pregnancy. However, over the years, use of drugs such as Unisom and Chlor-Trimeton has reduced, while use of Benadryl and Claritin has increased considering the safety aspects.

Safety Concerns with Antihistamines in Pregnancy

You must be aware of the fact that no medicine is considered safe during pregnancy and you should be very careful about taking any drugs particularly in the first trimester of your pregnancy.

No medicine must be taken without the prescription of doctor and it must be taken for the shortest possible time. Benefits of taking the medicines may outweigh the risk factors associated with them.

Safety Measures you Can Adopt

Here are listed some safety measures that you can keep in mind to ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy. Take a look:

Choose Second Generation Anti-Histamine

When you are pregnant it is better to choose second-generation anti-histamine that is considered safe for pregnancy. But make sure that you do not take any medicine without the prescription of your doctor.

The newer class of drugs that contain fexophenodine, loratadine and cetirizine are known to cause less fatigue compared to other drugs suggested for allergies and cold. Additional side effects from medicines can take away all your energies in pregnancy. This shall make you feel more tired than before.

Drink Plenty of Water

Dryness of nose and mouth are some of the common side effects of anti-histamines in pregnancy. Thus make sure to take plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated while taking these drugs.

Stick to Your Doctor’s Advice

Do not overdose yourself with anti-histamines and take only the amount suggested to by doctor. First-generation antihistamine such as Diphenhydramine is known to mimic oxytocin hormone when you take in high doses. This hormone is used for inducing labour and can increase the chances of a preterm baby.

Keep Check on Baby’s Movements

As a safety measure, you must always contact your doctor if you find decrease in movement of your baby. You must notify him or her even if you experience increase or decrease in contractions.

Seek Doctor’s Approval before Taking Anything

You must check with your doctor before considering any herbal solutions or vitamin supplements in pregnancy. If you need anti-histamines, your doctor shall consider if the benefits outweigh the associated risk factors for you.

These are some of the precautionary measures you can follow to reduce the ill effects of anti-histamines that can harm your unborn child in any way. In case you have any further doubts or queries, you can always get in touch with your doctor and get your doubts clarified.

Are anti-histamines safe during pregnancy? What precautions should one take while taking anti-histamines during pregnancy? What are the ill effects of taking anti-histamines during pregnancy? Discuss here.

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