Is it safe to use a nasal spray decongestant during pregnancy?

Is it safe to use a nasal spray decongestant during pregnancy?

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There's not enough data to completely rule out risk for most drugs in pregnancy (for safety reasons, few studies test drugs in human pregnancies), but I would rate nasal spray decongestants as low risk, with a couple of cautions.

The active ingredients in these products – ephedrine, epinephrine, naphazoline, oxymetazoline, phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, tetrahydrozoline, and xylometazoline – are low risk, with one caveat: I would avoid using pseudoephedrine in the first trimester because of a possible link with abdominal birth defects.

You'll also want to avoid long-term use of nasal spray decongestants. That's because after using them regularly for two or three days, you start to get rebound congestion that makes you worse off than you were before.

To avoid the rebound effect, try limiting your use of decongestants to nighttime, when congestion may make it hard to sleep. You can also try using a plain saline nose spray. Other options include rubbing a camphorated vapor rub ointment at the bottom of each nostril, or even eating a spicy meal.

If congestion is still making you miserable, talk with your doctor about taking a prescription decongestant medication.

In fact, it's a good idea to talk with your doctor about taking any over-the-counter medications during pregnancy, to make sure all the ingredients in the product you're considering are safe for you and your baby.

Also talk with your doctor if you have signs of a sinus infection, such as a fever and yellow, green, or red mucus. A bacterial infection can release toxins into your bloodstream, which could be harmful for your pregnancy, so you'll want to treat it with antibiotics.

Get more tips for relieving a stuffy nose during pregnancy.

Watch the video: DrRic Tutorial Stuffy Nose Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (February 2023).

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