What Medication is Safe for Pregnancy?

There are medications that are considered safe to take during pregnancy, while the effects of other medications are unsafe or unknown. Even medicine that is considered safe for pregnancy is not guaranteed 100%, says WebMD. Therefore, you need to pay special attention to what medications you take during pregnant, especially during the first trimester, which is a crucial time of development for your baby.

If you were taking prescription medications before you became pregnant, you should talk to your health care provider about continuing these medications. Your health care provider will weigh the benefit to you and the risk to your baby when making his or her recommendation about a particular medication. With some medications, the risk of not taking them may be more serious than the potential risk associated with taking them.

Of course, if you are prescribed any new medication, you need to make sure your doctor knows you are pregnant. Be sure the medication is safe before taking it.

It’s a good idea to start taking prenatal vitamins, now available without a prescription, during pregnancy. Ask your doctor about the safety of taking other vitamins, herbal remedies and supplements during pregnancy. Many herbal preparations and supplements have not been proven to be safe during pregnancy. It’s also best  not take any over-the-counter medication unless it is necessary.

The following medications and home remedies have no known harmful effects during pregnancy when taken according to the package directions. If you have questions about a medications not listed here, please contact your health care provider. This chart is copied from WebMD.


Safe Medications to Take During Pregnancy*



Cold and Flu

Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Tylenol Cold
Warm salt/water gargle
Saline nasal drops or spray

Sudafed, Actifed, Dristan, Neosynephrine*

Robitussin DM, Trind-DM, Vicks Cough Syrup, Romilar, Halls*

*Do not take “SA” (sustained action) forms of these drugs or the “Multi-Symptom” forms of these drugs.


Milk of Magnesia


For 24 hours, only after 12 weeks of pregnancy:


First Aid Ointment

J & J




Tylenol (acetaminophen)




Preparation H



Witch hazel

Nausea and Vomiting

Vitamin B6 100 mg tablet
Emetrol (if not diabetic)

Sea bands


Hydrocortisone cream or ointment
Caladryl lotion or cream
Benadryl cream

Oatmeal bath (Aveeno)

Yeast Infection

Monistat or Terazol

Do not insert applicator too far

*Please Note: No drug can be considered 100% safe to use during pregnancy.

Safe Alternative Pregnancy Medicine Therapies

Just because something is labeled “natural” does not mean it’s safe for pregnancy (or even for non-pregnant people). Here, WebMD lists some alternative therapies that are safe for pregnant women to take:

  • Nausea in early pregnancy: acupuncture, acupressure, ginger root (250 mg capsules 4 times a day), and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, 25 mg two or three times a day) work well.
  • Backache: chiropractic manipulation holds the best track record.
  • Turning a breech baby: exercise, hypnosis, and traditional Chinese treatment (burning incense-like substance on the fifth toe) have proven beneficial.
  • Pain relief in labor: epidurals are most effective, but injections of sterile water near a woman’s tailbone works surprisingly well, as do immersion in a warm bath, and a high tech nerve stimulator called TENS. Relaxation techniques, patterned breathing, emotional support, and self-hypnosis are already widely used alternative therapies in labor.

Alternative Pregnancy Medicine Therapies to Avoid

The following substances have the potential to harm a developing baby when used in a concentrated formulation (not as a spice in cooking). Some are thought to cause birth defects or encourage early labor.

  • Avoid these oral supplements: Arbor vitae, Beth root, Black cohosh, Blue cohosh, Cascara, Chaste tree berry, Chinese angelica (Dong Quai), Cinchona, Cotton root bark, Feverfew, Ginseng, Golden seal, Juniper, Kava kava, Licorice, Meadow saffron, Pennyroyal, Poke root, Rue, Sage, St. John’s wort, Senna, Tansy, White peony, Wormwood, Yarrow, Yellow dock, vitamin A (large doses can cause birth defects).
  • Avoid these aromatherapy essential oils: calamus, mugwort, pennyroyal, sage, wintergreen, basil, hyssop, myrrh, marjoram, and thyme.

Note: You need to continue being cautions about medication and alternative therapies if you are breastfeeding, as well.

For more information on pregnancy and drug safety, visit WebMD.

feature image from FDA

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  1. I am a little worried, i just found out i’m 7weeks pregnant (had a bleed for five days on week four but presumed it was my period) I went to amsterdam in week four and experimented on some stuff there. On week five i drank 20,000mg of vitamin c (ascorbic acid) to detox amsterdam from my system as was having a barium xray two days after my trip away. I had barium xray and was recommended to take goldenseal to help with my stomach problems which i have been taking 2 tabs 3 times daily for last two weeks. I have stopped everything but fear i’ve done alot of damage as a result of not knowing i was pregnant

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