Dangers of over the counter meds for pregnant women

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Pregnant women need to take heed of new warnings about the use of over the counter medications. New warnings have been issued by the experts in breastfeeding and pregnancy health at eh California Teratogen Information Service (CTIS) Pregnancy Health Information. This is a non-profit information distribution center located at the University of California, San Diego.

“Every year around this time we get a significant number of calls from pregnant and breastfeeding women in California who are battling colds and are worried about which meds they can and can’t take,” said Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, professor of pediatrics at UC San Diego and CTIS program director.

“The callers I’ve personally spoken to have valid concerns because there are certain ingredient in over-the-counter medications they need to watch out for that could be harmful to their developing babies,” said Sonia Alvarado, CTIS supervising counselor who takes calls through the service’s toll-free hotline.

Top tips for pregnant women:
- Less is more. Take meds only as needed in the most conservative amounts. Watch for medications with multiple active ingredients and do not combine.
- Oral decongestants during the first trimester might be ok, but saline solutions are better. There is a small risk of vascular issues in the fetus.
- Herbal ingredients should be avoided. Most have not been researched for their safety or effectiveness with pregnant women.
- Throat lozenges might feel good and even taste good, but too many is a bad thing. Watch out for inadvertently overdosing on the sweet lozenges.
- Alcohol in cough syrup. Get an alcohol-free brand.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, CTIS


 
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