Monday, September 24, 2012

Medications during pregnancy - herbal remedies in pregnancy

Safe and unsafe medications during pregnancy: Some medicines, including some common painkillers, can harm your baby’s health but some are safe, for example medication to treat long-term conditions such as asthma, thyroid disease, diabetes and epilepsy. To be on the safe side, you should:
Always check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist before taking any medicine
make sure that your doctor, dentist or other health professional knows you are pregnant before they prescribe you anything or give you treatment
talk to your doctor if you take regular medication – ideally before you start trying for a baby or as soon as you find out you are pregnant, and
use as few over the counter medicines as possible.
Medicines and treatments that are usually safe include paracetamol, most antibiotics, dental treatments (including local anesthetics), some immunizations (including tetanus and flu injections) and nicotine replacement therapy. But you should always check with your GP, pharmacist or midwife first.
Medicines for pregnancy symptoms
Make sure the medicine is safe to take when pregnant.
For further information, speak to your pharmacist.
To treat constipation during pregnancy:
• First choice: Eat more fiber or Bulk laxatives that contain ispaghula.
• Second choice:  On your doctor’s advice: bisacodyl or lactulose.
To treat Cough during pregnancy:
• First choice: Honey and lemon in hot water or Simple linctus.
• Do not use:  Medicines that contain codeine, unless advised by your doctor.
To treat Diarrhea during pregnancy:
• First choice: Oral rehydration sachets.
• Do not use: Loperamide
To treat Hemorrhoids (piles) during pregnancy
• First choice: Soothing creams, ointments or suppositories.
• Second choice: Ice pack.
To treat Hayfever, house dust mite and animal hair allergy during pregnancy
• First choice: Antihistamine nasal sprays and eye drops or Steroid nasal sprays.
• Second choice: On your doctor’s advice take occasional doses of the antihistamines loratadine or chlorphenamine.
• Do not use: Other antihistamines.
To treat Head lice during pregnancy
• First choice: Wet combing or Dimeticone lotion.
• Second choice: If ineffective, head lice treatments containing malathion in water (aqueous lotion).
To treat Indigestion during pregnancy
• First choice: Antacids (indigestion mixtures).
• Second choice: On your doctor’s advice: medicines that reduce acid production, e.g. omeprazole.
To treat Nasal congestion (stuffy or runny nose) during pregnancy
• First choice: Steam inhalation (e.g. over a bowl of hot water) or a hot shower.
• Second choice: If severe, occasional doses of oxymetazoline or xylometazoline nasal spray.
• Do not use: Phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine, especially in the 1st trimester.
To treat Pain (e.g. headache, toothache) during pregnancy
• First choice: Paracetamol.
• Second choice: Ibuprofen may be taken in the 2nd trimester (weeks 14 to 27) but avoid taking it in the 1st or 3rd trimesters unless advised by your doctor.
• Do not use: Medicines that contain codeine (e.g. co-codamol, co-dydramol, dihydrocodeine), unless advised by your doctor.
To treat Threadworms during pregnancy
• First choice: Pharmacists cannot supply threadworm medicines to pregnant women without a prescription.
• Second choice:  On your doctor’s advice: mebendazole, but preferably not in the 1st trimester.
To treat vaginal thrush during pregnancy
• First choice: Pharmacists cannot supply medicines for vaginal thrush to pregnant women without a prescription.
• Second choice: On your doctor’s advice: clotrimazole pessaries or cream. Do not use the pessary applicator if you are near term (at the end of your pregnancy).
• Do not use: Fluconazole.
Herbal, remedies and aromatherapy in pregnancy    
Not all ‘natural’ remedies are safe in pregnancy. Contact the Institute for Complementary and Natural Medicine to make sure that your practitioner is qualified.
Tell your practitioner that you are pregnant, and tell your midwife or doctor and pharmacist which remedies you are using.
X-rays during pregnancy
X-rays should be avoided in pregnancy if possible. Make sure that your dentist knows you are pregnant.

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