What medication can you take during pregnancy?

In general, we believe it’s best to avoid all medications during pregnancy. Any unnecessary medication certainly should be avoided, particularly in the first 12 weeks when your baby is developing limbs and major organs. You want to create the best possible environment for your baby’s development.

Medication Guidelines

  1. First try natural remedies such as rest, fluids, a change in diet, ice or heat. (Do not overheat yourself.)
  2. If you must use a symptom reliever, read the list of active ingredients and avoid any on the list below. All products must list ingredients, but they will be in fine print.
  3. Do not use products with mixtures of active ingredients such as Comtrex or TheraFlu. They usually include ingredients NOT recommended.
  4. Try to minimize the use of any medication in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
  5. If you are sick, don’t hesitate to call your physician’s office. Serious illness can be treated, including a prescription medication such as antibiotics. It is important to treat urinary tract infections to decrease the chance of preterm labor. Significant respiratory and other infections may warrant antibiotics as well.

Medications generally regarded as safe during pregnancy

Because there aren’t a lot of studies involving medication and pregnant women, information on drug safety accumulates gradually as we collect data on pregnancies when drugs have been used accidentally, or from pregnancies when a health concern was severe enough that it was considered best overall to use a drug. Given the safety data we have, the following medications seem to be safe to use during pregnancy. However, we cannot make a safety guarantee with any drug taken during pregnancy. Please use caution.

Common/Brand name Active Ingredient Use for
Benadryl Diphenhydramine HCI Allergy, itching, insomnia
FiberCon Calcium Polycarbophil Bulk-forming fiber laxative (tablet)
Metamucil Psyllium hydrophilic mecilloid Fiber/bulking agent/stool softener
Mylanta/Maalox Magnesium, aluminum hydroxide Antacid
Pepcid Famotidine Acid stomach
Robitussin DM Dextromethorphan Cough suppressant
Sucrets Dyclonine HCI Mild throat anesthetic
Sudafed Pseudoephedrine HCI Decongestant
Tums Calcium Carbonate Antacid; source of calcium
(no more than 6 per day)
Tylenol Acetaminophen Fever, pain
Vitamin B-6 Vitamin B-6 Morning sickness
(25-50 mg, 1-2 times/day)
Zantac Canitidine Acid stomach


**Do NOT use Pepto-Bismol or similar medications that contain Bismuth Subsalicylate!**