What Medications are Safe to Take While Pregnant?

During pregnancy, you might be unsure of what medications are safe to use for you and your baby. We have all the answers to know which meds you can take for headaches, asthma, pain relief, colds, sleeping, and more.

What Medications are Safe to Take While Pregnant?

Which Medications are Safe to Use During Pregnancy?

If you are like most women, there may be times during your pregnancy where you are wondering if taking a certain medication is safe for you and your baby. Before taking any medicine you should first consult your primary care physician or Garden OB/GYN provider. The following information can be used as a guide, but should not supplement the advice given by your doctor. 

Medication Use in Pregnancy

Medication should not be used during your pregnancy unless absolutely necessary. However, if you have an underlying condition that requires medication, please continue your medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

The medications listed below have been shown to not cause birth defects. Most other medications fall into an “unknown category” meaning there have been no studies documenting their safety in pregnancy. 

Medical Conditions Requiring Medication Use in Pregnancy 

If you are unsure about continuing a medication during your pregnancy, please contact our office to review your medical history. Do not discontinue any medication without consulting with your doctor


Use your inhalers routinely or as needed. Asthma symptoms can worsen in pregnancy. Ventolin, Asthmacort, Proventil, Advair, Nasonex or Flonase help keep the breathing passages open. Claritan, Benadryl, Dimetapp, Zyrtec and Tavist are antihistamines that are safe during pregnancy. Let your doctor know if your asthma is not responding to your routine inhalers. Occasionally oral steroids may be necessary. 


Your mental well-being is very important for a healthy pregnancy. If you are on antidepressants you may continue them under the advice of your doctor. Safe mediations include Prozac, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin. Please monitor your mood and emotional symptoms closely for worsening of depression or post-partum depression. 


If you have Type I or Type II diabetes before pregnancy, continue managing your blood sugars closely. Good control before pregnancy reduces the risk of fetal malformations. During pregnancy, Diabetic Education at the Perinatology office will help manage your diabetes. 

High Blood Pressure 

Continue your blood pressure medication. Purchase a blood pressure cuff to use at home and record your values and bring the blood pressure readings to your doctor visit. Blood pressure medications commonly used during pregnancy include Nifedipine, Aldomet, Propanolol, and Labetolol. You may require a higher dose or change to different medication in pregnancy. Preeclampsia is more common in patients with preexisting high blood pressure. 

Pre-Term Labor 

Although there is no medication that stops labor completely, your doctor may prescribe Terbutaline, Nifedipine, or Ibuprofen for a short duration. If you are admitted to the hospital you may receive Betamethasone shots to help with fetal lung maturation and Magnesium Sulfate. 

Thyroid Disease 

Continue any regular thyroid medication (Synthroid, Thyroxine, PTU). Blood tests for thyroid may be monitored by your obstetrician, primary care doctor, or your endocrinologist during pregnancy. The thyroid medication dose may need to be adjusted. 

The following medications may be taken safely during pregnancy. We recommend that you try non-drug treatments first. For example, if you have a headache, try lying down in a quiet, dark room. If you do not get relief, use the following medication guideline. If a prescription is necessary, an Rx will appear next to the medication. Always take according to manufactures directions listed on the bottle unless otherwise indicated. Ibuprofen and aspirin should not be taken on a regular basis unless directed by your physician. 

  • Acne: Topical over-the-counter are allowed, Cetaphil wash, Clindamycin topical prescription 
  • Allergies: Claritin, Zyrtec, Tylenol sinus, Chlor-Trimeton, Benadryl, Dimetapp, Tavist, Allegra, Flonase, Nasonex 
  • Antibiotics: Ampicillin, Amoxicillin, Clindamycin, Macrobid, Keflex, Zithromax, Erythromycin
  • Antivirals:  Zovirax, Valtrex, Acyclovir, Valcyclovir 
  • Cold and Sinus: Tylenol Cold, Actifed, Emergen-C, Theraflu, Nasalcrom, Dristan, Breathe Right strips, Nasonex, Flonase, Saline sprays, Mucinex 
  • Cough: \Robitussin Plain, Vicks Vapo Rub, Cepacol
  • Constipation Stool Softeners: Softeners - Benefiber, Colace, Metamucil, Citrucel. DOSS Laxatives - Miralax (Please ask your doctor prior to taking), Ducolax, Mild of Magnesia, Fleets Enema Diarrhea Imodium, Kaopectate 
  • Headache: Tylenol, Fioricet, Eccedine for migraine, narcotics if necessary under supervision of Medical Provider 
  • Heartburn: Tagamet, Zantec, Pepcid, Tums, Rolaids, Protonix - rx 
  • Hemorrhoids: Preparation H, Anusol HC, Tucks, Hydrocortisone cream or suppository, Analpram - rx 
  • Indigestion: Mylanta, Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, Gas-X, Pepto-bismol Itching Benetryl, Aveno, Atarax - rx 
  • Nausea: Vitamin B6 25 mg every 6-8 hrs with Doxylamine (Unisom) 10mg once or twice daily, Reglan, Phenergan, Diclegis -Rx 
  • Pain: Tylenol (do not take more than 3g in a 24 hour period)
  • Sleeping: Benedryl, Tylenol PM, Ambien - rx, Sonata - rx, Unisom, Sominex 
  • Sore Throat: Cough drops, Sucrets, Cepacol, Chloraseptic spray 
  • Yeast: Mycelex, Gyne-Lotrimin, Monistat, Femstat, Terazol – rx. (Please note Diflucan - rx is NOT recommended for use during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester)

Medication you should NEVER take during pregnancy includes:

  • Accutane
  • Lithium
  • Tetracycline
  • Vibramycin
  • Minocycline
  • Sudafed is not recommended during pregnancy

If you have questions about medicine use during your pregnancy, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our expert obstetricians in one of our convenient office locations in Manhattan, Forest Hills, New Hyde Park, Garden City, Massapequa, and Commack, NY. Our pregnancy team will be happy to help you understand which medicines are safe to use while pregnant. 

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