Safe Medications During Pregnancy
Theres no doubt that along with the joys of pregnancy, women can and do experience uncomfortable side effects. If youre feeling under the weather, you may be wondering if over-the-counter remedies are safe for you and your baby. In most cases, its best to avoid OTC medications particularly in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. While some medications are safe to use in limited quantities, other medicines are known to increase the chance of birth defects or other problems.
If you have questions or are considering a medication thats not listed below, please reach out to your doctor for additional safety information. You should also call your doctor if you have a fever 100.4 F or greater, or if symptoms persist or worsen. The obstetrics specialists at Northeast Georgia Physicians Group are here to help you weigh the risks and benefits of prescription and over-the-counter medications that are safe to take during pregnancy.
What Is Heartburn During Pregnancy
Heartburn is a common issue for pregnant women which involves acidic stomach contents being regurgitated back up the individuals oesophagus, which can cause burning in the throat and chest. Symptoms are often worse immediately after eating or while lying down.
The reasons for the increase in heartburn in pregnancy are complicated and not completely understood, with multiple factors potentially at play:
Elevate The Head Of Your Bed
Some people experience reflux symptoms during the night .
This may disrupt their sleep quality and make it difficult for them to fall asleep.
One study showed that patients who raised the head of their bed had significantly fewer reflux episodes and symptoms, compared to those who slept without any elevation .
Additionally, an analysis of controlled studies concluded that elevating the head of the bed is an effective strategy to reduce acid reflux symptoms and heartburn at night (
Elevating the head of your bed may reduce your reflux symptoms at night.
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How To Prevent Heartburn During Pregnancy
Altering your diet or adjusting your lifestyle should be the first thing you try when looking to manage your pregnancy heartburn. If you pay attention, you will probably notice certain foods are more likely to trigger heartburn. Here are some steps you can take:
- Avoid food and beverages that cause you gastrointestinal distress For example caffeine chocolate acidic foods like citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, mustard, and vinegar processed meats mint products and spicy, highly seasoned, fried, or fatty foods.
- Do not eat big meals. Instead, eat several small meals throughout the day. Take your time eating and chew thoroughly.
- Avoid drinking large quantities of fluids during meals you dont want to distend your stomach.
- Try chewing gum after eating Chewing gum stimulates your salivary glands, and saliva can help neutralize the acid.
- Do not eat close to bedtime Give yourself two to three hours to digest your food before you lie down.
Keep in mind the majority of pregnant women experience heartburn during pregnancy, take TUMS for relief and go on to have a normal and healthy pregnancy. Another product similar to TUMS, called Tame the Flame, is provided by Healthy Mama.
Want to Know More?
- Nightfoods Nighttime Ice Cream: the official ice cream of American Pregnancy Association and deliciously pregnancy friendly
Compiled using information from the following sources:
1. Mayo Clinic. .Mayo Clinic Guide to A Healthy Pregnancy. United States of America: Harper Collins.
Welcome To Prilosec 20 Mg Capsules
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily before a meal. This medication may also be given through a tube into the stomach . Dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dosage is also based on weight.
Prilosec OTC is a 14-day regimen that can be used up to three times a year, but not more often than every 4 months. If you need to use Prilosec OTC for more than the three indicated 14-day courses of treatment, consult with your doctor.
The active ingredient omeprazole works to fight heartburn differently from treatments like acid controllers/H2s or antacids. One of the best benefits of omeprazole is experiencing heartburn relief for 24 hours after only taking 1 pill a day.* But its not the only benefit. Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor and PPIs are the strongest class of frequent heartburn medicines.
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What Are The Usual Symptoms Of Heartburn & Acid Reflux
Heartburn often seems worse after rich meals, citrus fruits, hot beverages or alcohol. Occasionally it can be felt deeply within the chest, almost within the back although sometimes the burning feeling can reach all the way up to the throat2. Some patients notice acid reflux when some of the contents of their stomach repeat by coming back up the oesophagus as far as the throat or even the mouth. A few patients notice discomfort or pain as they swallow and may often experience frequent throat clearing, coughing and choking. It is quite common for these symptoms to be worse at night or when lying down.
For most people with the condition, heartburn and reflux is just a nuisance and little more than that. In a few people, especially where there is severe inflammation of the oesophagus, there is a risk of complications that can include internal bleeding and narrowing of the gullet. One in ten people with acid reflux have Barretts Oesophagus12, 13. This is a condition that can, very rarely, progress to cancer of the lower oesophagus. If you are worried about these complications, discuss them with your GP.
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Try Chamomile Tea Instead
If the ginger tea isnt working or you want something else to work with it, chamomile tea is the option to go for. Again, opt for lukewarm water if the hot water is making your heartburn worse.
Chamomile is excellent for calming your whole system. If youre struggling to sleep because of the pregnancy symptoms, chamomile tea is highly recommended. Youll also find that it can settle your upset stomach if you suffer from morning sickness.
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Which Diet And Lifestyle Changes Relieve Heartburn During Pregnancy
The management of heartburn during pregnancy involves many of the same principles as management in the non-pregnant state. Lifestyle changes may include:
Top Medications To Avoid
Before we get into the exact medications to try, lets focus on the ones that you need to avoid. Read the labels to find out if the medications contain:
- Bicarbonate soda/baking soda
These three are effective heartburn medicine for relieving heartburn, but they can put your unborn baby and your health at risk. They think the blood and can make you a higher risk of miscarriage. Bicarbonate soda is high in sodium, which will cause water retention, raise your bodys sodium levels, and cause other health problems.
Reading the labels will also help you look out for not safe for pregnancy, do not use during pregnancy, or suitable for pregnancy labels.
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If Youre Taking Prescription Medicines
Speak to your GP if youre taking medicine for another condition, such as antidepressants, and you think it may be making your indigestion worse. They may be able to prescribe an alternative medicine.
Never stop taking a prescribed medicine unless youre advised to do so by your GP or another qualified healthcare professional whos responsible for your care.
Otc Medications May Also Help
If changes to your lifestyle and diet don’t work, that’s when doctors may recommend medication.
- Antacids: “Most antacids are considered safe in pregnancy and are compatible with breastfeeding,” Sridhar says. Antacids are OTC medications like Rolaids, Tums, and Maalox. And while they may be OTC, if you’re pregnant, you should consult your doctor before taking them.
- H2 blockers: If antacids don’t work, a doctor may prescribe H2 blockers like Pepcid. H2 blockers can relieve heartburn because they help you produce less hydrochloric acid in your stomach, thereby preventing heartburn before it even starts.
- Proton Pump Inhibitors: If antacids and H2 blockers don’t work, your doctor may prescribe proton pump inhibitors like Nexium or Prevacid.
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Heartburn And Indigestion In Pregnancy
Heartburn causes a burning feeling in the chest or throat. Its uncomfortable, but is not usually harmful to pregnant women or their babies.
8 out of 10 pregnant women experience heartburn. Youre most likely to get heartburn in the third trimester of your pregnancy.
The symptoms of heartburn include:
- a burning feeling in your chest or throat
- acid coming up into your mouth
- feeling sick
Eno Has Many Ingredients
You must have heard about the phrase unable to keep the food and liquids down. Do you know what this means? It means that it is widespread in pregnancy that the food you eat will come out again. It will come out of your stomach when you vomit. I should also warn you that what will also expect to vomit. What is the main reason why you cant keep the food down? The main reason is that the stomach cannot digest the food and hold it in your stomach. As a result, the food comes out of your mouth.
The best way to digest your food is to use eno. Eno has many ingredients. Those ingredients primary function is that they break down all the food inside your stomach to digest it. Have you heard about the thing called the acid in your stomach? If you havent, let me tell you about it. This acid helps in breaking down the food for the stomach to digest. Eno has specific ingredients that boost this acids function, and it breaks down food faster and better.
One other positive thing about eating eno is that it controls nausea. You must have heard about the word nausea if you were searching on a website about pregnancy. Nausea is the most common thing in pregnancy, and you should not be worried bout it. Most women rush to doctors fearing that it will harm the baby inside them. That is not the case as nausea does not harm the baby, and it happens in extreme cases otherwise, it is considered normal.
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Was It Something I Ate
You expected the swollen ankles, the morning sickness, and the burgeoning breasts. But this burning indigestion? Whered that come from?
As the name implies, heartburn feels like a fiery churning that starts behind your breastbone and travels up your esophagus, a tube connecting your throat to your stomach. These acids can even make it all the way up your throat.
In addition to feeling a burning sensation which can last several minutes to several hours you may also:
- feel bloated
- have a sour taste in your mouth
- have a sore throat
- cough frequently
While the burrito you ate for dinner probably didnt help matters , the burning feeling you have has more to do with hormones than jalapenos.
45 percent of moms-to-be experience heartburn. And if you had heartburn before pregnancy, youre even more likely to have it during.
Heartburn can fire up, so to speak, at any point in pregnancy, but its most common during the second and third trimesters. Experts arent exactly sure what causes the smoldering, but they suspect its a three-pronged problem.
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What Can I Take For Pregnancy Heartburn Besides Tums
Women often wonder if there is anything they can do to prevent or minimize the chances of the unpleasant experience of heartburn during pregnancy. Luckily for expecting mothers, there are a number of small lifestyle modifications that can help.
- Remain upright after eating: Sitting up or standing lets gravity do some of the heavy lifting to keep reflux at bay. If you need to lay down, try propping your torso and head up with some pillows.
- Eat smaller meals: Smaller meals digest more quickly, lowering the likelihood of heartburn and reflux.
- Limit spicy and acidic foods: While this might be a tough sell for anyone with pregnancy cravings for acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes, or chocolate, it should come as no surprise that acidic foods can aggravate the stomach.
- Limit greasy/fried foods: Similar to acidic foods, greasy and heavily fried foods can also cause GI upset. The fat content in these foods can also slow digestion, which can cause reflux symptoms.
Tums also isnt the only brand on the market. Other popular brands that offer calcium carbonate antacids include Mylanta, Alka-Seltzer, and even store/generic brands. Pepto-Bismol and Maalox are also antacids, though use different active ingredients.
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Learn What Causes Heartburn For Youthen Avoid It
Fat, caffeine, chocolate, citruspregnant women with heartburn have been advised to avoid all of the above at one time or another. But what causes reflux in one woman might not be a trigger for another.
Rather than tell his pregnant patients to avoid a specific food, Dr. Richter says he advises them to stay away from foods that specifically aggravate them. Everybody’s different, Dr. Richter says. Some pregnant women can chow down on spicy Mexican food or a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with no ill effects.
Why Treat Heartburn And Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
Heartburn and acid reflux are traditionally considered innocuous because they are common in pregnancy and are usually self-limiting. However, a recent study suggests that GERD is associated with an increase in the severity of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy , which can have serious negative effects on a womans quality of life. In a prospective cohort study conducted by the Motherisk Program, 194 pregnant women with NVP and heartburn or acid reflux were compared with 188 pregnant women with NVP who did not have heartburn or acid reflux. The 2 groups were assessed for severity of NVP with the pregnancy-unique quantification of emesis and nausea score, which is a validated scoring tool based on frequency and duration of nausea, vomiting, and retching in the past 24 hours, with a high score indicating more severe NVP. Quality of life was measured by the well-being score, with 0 being the worst and 10 being the best. Forty-eight percent of women in the control group had severe NVP according to the PUQE, compared with 75% in the group with heartburn and acid reflux. The mean well-being score in the control group was significantly higher than that in the group with heartburn and acid reflux .
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Does Pregnancy Cause Heartburn
Pregnancy increases your risk of heartburn or acid reflux. During the first trimester, muscles in your esophagus push food more slowly into the stomach and your stomach takes longer to empty.
This gives your body more time to absorb nutrients for the fetus, but it can also result in heartburn.
During the third trimester, the growth of your baby can push your stomach out of its normal position, which can lead to heartburn.
However, each woman is different. Being pregnant doesnt necessarily mean youll have heartburn. It depends on many factors, including your physiology, diet, daily habits, and your pregnancy.
Relieving heartburn during pregnancy typically involves some trial and error. Lifestyle habits that can reduce heartburn are often the safest methods for mother and baby. The following tips may help relieve your heartburn:
Alternative medicine options include acupuncture and relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, or guided imagery. Always check with your doctor before trying new treatments.
Can You Take Heartburn Pregnant
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