Allergy Medicine While Nursing

It is always difficult to deal with allergies, but things can be even more difficult when you are pregnant. Pregnancy can actually make certain illnesses and conditions become worse, and allergies are one of them. While there are medications available, you cannot use most of them while pregnant or breastfeeding. Many women ask if they take an allergy medicine while nursing. Keep reading to know the detailed answer.

Can I Take Allergy Medications While Breastfeeding?

Yes, you can definitely find certain medicines approved for use during breastfeeding. You need to talk about it with your doctor who will tell you what types of allergy medications you can or cannot take during this special time. Generally, most OTC medications for allergy are safe while nursing. Certain prescription medications are ok too. You just need to keep a few things in mind.

General Rules

  1. It is important to select over-the-counter allergy medications carefully and making sure they do not combine several other drugs and only tackle one symptom at a time. Check the ingredient list to know for sure what you are taking.
  2. Stick with short-acting (6 hours or below) forms of allergy medicine while nursing as compared to the long-active varieties.
  3. Take allergy medicine only when you really need it. Take your medication after you have finished nursing.

Which Allergy Medications Are Safe While Nursing?

As mentioned, you should talk to your doctor to know which allergy medicine can be used while nursing. Only a qualified professional will give good advice in this regard. Here are some options you can consider to relieve allergy symptoms:

  • You may use nasal saline mixes to deal with allergies. You can buy these sprays at drug stores or make at home with salt and water.
  • You can take antihistamines when nursing. Chlorpheniramine and tripelennamine are two safe choices, so are Zyrtec and Claritin.
  • You can use decongestants like Sudafed as well as medicated nasal sprays to treat allergy symptoms. These medications are especially useful when you have a congested nose. They do not pass into human milk in large quantities so are generally safe to use when breastfeeding. However, they may affect milk supply, so you should use them sparingly.
  • You can take prescription intranasal corticosteroid medications. Only very small amount will get into your bloodstream, so it’s not harmful for your baby.
  • What's more, you can take medications prescribed for asthma to treat your allergy symptoms. Talk to your doctor who will prescribe the best allergy medicine while nursing.It means that most OTC allergy medications, including cromolyn, inhalant bronchodilators, cortisone sprays are safe to use. Newborns may experience temporary irritability if their mothers have been taking theophylline in high doses, but it is generally safe to use when the infant is six months or older. The good thing is that your doctor is less likely to prescribe theophylline because albuterol has replaced it. Albuterol contains bronchodilators and are to be used by inhalation, so it has fewer side effects. Another benefit of inhalant bronchodilators is that less of it is absorbed in into your bloodstream, so it does not affect your baby while breastfeeding.
  • You can use simple throat lozenges and sprays to deal with an irritated throat. Cough drops are equally effective. Just do not use too much of cough drops when they contain menthol because it can hinder milk supply. Similarly, many forms of Delsym, Robitussin, and Benylin are safe to use while breastfeeding.
  • You can take pain medications such as Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen to deal with allergy symptoms while breastfeeding. Naproxen is also safe to use, but should only be used when you really need it. Its long half-life may cause negative effects on your baby's kidneys, cardiovascular system, and GI tract. It is fine to use it for a short time. Avoid using aspirin though because it increases the risk of Reye's syndrome in children.
  • It is also possible to relieve your allergy and cold symptoms by using eye drops. These drops are generally safe to use while nursing.

Natural Remedy for Allergies While Nursing

While you can take specific allergy medicine while nursing, you can always make use of natural remedies to relieve allergy symptoms. For instance:

  • Take plenty of rest when you have allergies.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated all the time.
  • Take hot baths, inhale steam, and install a humidifier in your room to ease breathing.
  • Eat food rich in Vitamin C. You can take Vitamin C supplements as well.
  • Try Echinacea supplement to boost your immune system and help fighting off allergy symptoms.
  • Try taking cooked, raw garlic or garlic supplements for relief.
  • Alternatively, you can give homeopathic remedies a shot, which are generally safe for nursing mothers. Similarly, osteopathic manipulative treatment is quite an effective form of osteopathic manipulation that helps boost your immune system and drains fluids from the neck and head to prevent infections. This also proves beneficial against chronic respiratory and ear infections.
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