If you’re pregnant and have a cold, can you take NyQuil? Well, not really.
FDA puts NyQuil in a pregnancy category “C”. This means that it could be harmful for the baby. It contains active ingredients to reduce pain, fever and cough, such as Acetaminophen, Dextromethorphan HBr and Pseudoephedrine.
However, not all the ingredients fall into category “C”. It does contain alcohol though, which is not to be consumed during pregnancy. That said, NyQuil falls into a somewhat grey area, where it’s not completely banned, yet is not recommended during pregnancy. This is why most women, and most doctors for that matter, would rather err on the side of caution and try an alternative.
Can I Take Nyquil While Pregnant? Answer: No.
If you are pregnant and you have a cold, it’s best to consult you doctor. Even though NyQuil is an over-the-counter medication and you feel that you could take a small amount just once. You may need a different solution depending on your month of pregnancy. Remember, never self-medicate in times of pregnancy. And when in doubt, ask.
A doctor will always weigh the risk to the baby with the benefits of the medication. For instance, if you have a severe cold and congestion with a cough, you could be harming the baby by denying yourself any medication. Your baby needs oxygen and if you can’t breathe well, you may run the risk of decreasing oxygen flow to the baby, which could have serious side-effects. Just as taking some medication is harmful, not taking it could prove injurious as well.
If Not Nyquil, Then What?
There are many women who have taken NyQuil, although a mild dose, in their pregnancy and seemed none the worse for it. But, if you are someone who wants to stick to the 100% approved list, then you could try some alternatives in case of a cold. The approved list includes Sudafed, Actifed and Robitussin. You could try some home remedies of ginger and honey, which, especially in the East, people swear by. This is something to think about, because if it won’t help you, it won’t harm you either.
Also, drink a lot of fluids to cure your cold. After you’ve tried the natural stuff and if it hasn’t worked, then go for medication. It’s not in your best interest, or that of your baby, to suffer and be sick. If your doctor prescribes a little bit of medicine, it’s not really a bad thing. For one, if you take it in moderation, very little actually gets absorbed into your baby’s blood stream.
Nip It In The Bud
Think about it this way: coughs and colds cannot be wished away, as much as we’d like. If you leave it untreated it could get worse, and chances are you’ll have to take antibiotics to get better. So, the thing to do is to take action the moment the first seemingly innocuous symptoms start. The moment you get that scratchy-throat feeling, you know you should do something about it.
Gargle with salt-water, try honey and ginger, and various other remedies. You may even think about seeing a doctor at this point, nutty as they might consider you, it’s worth it. In any case, pregnant women are known, and thus kind of accepted, as being somewhat paranoid. If you can nip it in the bud, you’ll avoid strong medication in the future.
Which Trimester Are You?
Also, there are some medications that are not recommended in the first trimester, while some are a no-no in the last. You should consult your doctor to know which ones these are. The maximum restrictions are in the first trimester where antihistamines are usually not recommended. It is better not to use a multi-symptom drug, which NyQuil is, to treat a cold. It’s better to treat one thing at a time, or go for a nasal decongestant. But, if you do have more than one symptom, then you may need something stronger.
Now there is also Alcohol-Free NyQuil Cold & Flu Relief, which still claims to provide relief from cough and colds and the ailments that go with it, like a sore throat, fever, runny-nose etc. It says on the bottle that you must consult your doctor if you are pregnant, so even though this one is a newer version without alcohol, you still can’t exactly buy it and take swigs without asking your doctor first.