Midwife Matters

Pregnancy preparations, women's health, and care options

Over the counter drugs to treat common problems in pregnancy

Pain relief and Headache

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the best option
  • Do not take more than 1,000 mg at one time
  • Do not take more than 4,000 mg in one day

NOT RECOMMENDED:  Naproxen (Aleve), Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), especially avoid during 1st and 3rd trimesters!!

Cough, Colds and Sinus Congestion

  • Cough drops
  • Vicks VaproRub
  • Saline nasal spray (Afrin, Ocean Ayr)
  • Gauifenesin, an expectorant (Mucinex, Robitussin, Hytuss)
  • Dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant (Robitussin Maximun Strength Cough, Vicks 44 Cough Relief)

NOT RECOMMENDED:  Cough remedies that contain alcohol, decongestants pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine


  • It is very important to treat a fever in a pregnant woman
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the best choice to treat a fever in pregnancy

NOT RECOMMENDED:  Naproxen (Aleve), Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), especially avoid during 1st and 3rd trimesters!!


  • Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton)
  • Laratadine (Claritin, Alavert, Tavist ND)
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Cetirrizine (Zyrtec)

Gas Pains

  • Simethicone (Gas-X, Mylanta Gas, Maalox Anti-Gas, Mylicon)


  • Fast acting antiacids (Tums, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids)
  • Longer lasting antiacids: Famotodine (Zantac) and Omeprazole (Prilosce)


  • Doxylamine (Unisom) and Vitamin B6 200 mg/day


  • Docusate sodium ( Colace) stool softener
  • Laxatives (Phillips Milk of Magnesia, Dulcolax Milk of Magnesia)
  • Fiber (Metamucil, Citrucel, Fiber-Lax)


  • Anusol, Preparation H, Tucks


  • Loperamide (Imodium, Kaopectate II, Pepto Diarrhea Control


Vaginal Yeast Infections

  • Miconazole (Monistat 3)
  • Tioconazole (Monistat 1)
  • Clotrimazole (GyneLotrimin 3, Mycelex 7)
  • Butoconazole (Mycelex 3, Femstat 3)

Other Fungal Infections

  • Tolnaftate (Tinactin)
  • Clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF)
  • Terbinafine (Lamisil AT)

NOT RECOMMENDED:  Certain products not listed here, certain Cruex, Desenex and Fungi Cure products should not be used during pregnancy.  Check labels carefully.


  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Unisom SleepGels, Sominex)
  • Doxylamine (Unisom Nighttime Sleep Aid)


  • Hydrocortisone (Cortaid, Lanacort)


  • Bacitracin and Polymixin B (Polysporin)


  • These medications have not been shown to cause direct harm to the fetus when taken infrequently for a short period of time.
  • It is best to avoid most medications during pregnancy if possibe
  • You and your healthcare provider can determine if the benefits outweigh the risks

« Pregnancy

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