Can I Take Zyrtec While Pregnant? Know the Simple Truth Quickly
Hey, moms! Do you also suffer from chronic allergies? If you are like me, then you know that dealing with allergic rhinitis is a real struggle. The truth is – aside from the discomfort caused by morning sickness, dealing with allergies is one of the most difficult experiences I have had. No exaggeration here.
It is no secret that feeling under the weather during your pregnancy is one of the worst feelings in the world. While you may be tended to head to the pharmacy right away and grab some regular over-the-counter medication, you need to know if they are entirely safe for you. So, if you are asking yourself – ‘can I take Zyrtec while pregnant? ‘, then better check this now.
What Exactly is Zyrtec?
Zyrtec is one of the antihistamine medication that can be bought OTC that reduces the effects of the chemical histamine you have in your body. The natural chemical compound called histamine is the culprit behind the itching, sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose symptoms you have when you have allergies. In addition, it is also used to treat chronic urticaria.
Safety Concerns on Zyrtec and Other Allergy Medication
There is allergic medication which may seem safe. Some of these are taken orally such as Cetirizine (Zyrtec), fexofenadine (Allegra), diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton). Others are in the nasal spray form such as Nasalcrom and Cromolyn. It is, however, imperative to see your doctor and get his prescribed medicine before purchasing any of them.
Another reason to see your doctor is that these medicines can naturally cause sleepiness and drowsiness. So, if you are under medication for other medical condition, you should inform your doctor about the effects of combining them with anti-allergy medication. You need to be completely sure that they are safe for you especially if you are still working or actively taking part in activities during pregnancy.
Allergy Medication and Birth Defects
Pregnant women who take medication during pregnancy are at risk of exposing their fetus to teratogenic effects. Structural fetal malformations are linked to drug intake during the first trimester, while growth disorders or functional defects are associated with drug intake during the latter part of the pregnancy.
With this, it has been noted that pharmacological interventions are usually avoided at any stage during pregnancy. This is the very reason as to why warnings are seen on the patient information leaflets of allergy medication. It is imperative that the doctor must truly check and weight if the treatment will be truly beneficial.
In a review of the all certain antihistamines that are used during the pregnancy, it has been found that the first-generation antihistamine like hydroxyzine, dexchlor pheniramine, and chlorpheniramine are considered among the safest medications that can be taken during pregnancy.
The said review was based on the effects of this medication on pregnant women suffering a skin allergic reaction called Pruritus. This is one the most common dermatological allergic symptoms during pregnancy. Therefore, the researchers made an effort to assess the effects of the different antihistamine on pregnancies.
Studies on the Safety Consumption of Antihistamine During Pregnancy
There are also several studies that shed light on the safety use of antihistamine during pregnancy. One of them was conducted by Kallen B of the University of Lund in Lund, Sweden. The main purpose of his study is to establish the effects of antihistamine use during early pregnancy.
In the said study, 17266 women who took antihistamine medication at the early pregnancy were monitored. The result showed that the effects seen on the women were merely vomiting and nausea. More importantly, there was an absence of clear teratogenic effects on the babies.
In another study where the focus is to determine the effects of antihistamines during the period of pregnancy and during lactation, it was found out that first-generation antihistamines are safe for consumption. Now, the question is – is Cetirizine (Zyrtec), a second-generation antihistamine, also safe?
According to the said study, there has been researching performed to determine the effects of Cetirizine on pregnancy. One of the which was based on the pregnancy results from the Swedish Medical Birth Registry from the year 1995 -1999.
During this period, about 917 pregnant women out of the 17766 who took cetirizine did not demonstrate any increased risk of adverse effects such as malformations. Another related study was obtained from the Teratogen Information Service in Berlin.
In the data obtained, there were 196 women who took cetirizine at any time during the pregnancy and a showed no increased of risks of adverse outcomes or any birth effects. Other second-generation antihistamines such as fexofenadine, desloratadine, and loratadine were also studied and showed similar results.
The Problem of Lack of Information on Medication Use During Pregnancy
The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities in the US recognizes that there are about 10-15% of the pregnant women who take medication but lack sufficient information on their safety and regulation. Thus, the program called Treating for Two aims to bridge the information gap on the said concerns.
Is it OK to Skip the Allergic Medication?
It is possible that even with the number of studies showing the absence of the adverse effects of allergic medication on a fetus, you would still think twice about taking one. If your symptoms are not serious, you may opt to discuss the natural home remedies with your doctor.
One way is by using a diffuser at home with aromatherapy that can help ease stuffy or a runny nose. Another option is by making sure that your plants at home at allergy friendly. Also, avoiding certain food that can aggravate allergies can also help.
Final Reminders, Mommies!
It is understandable that you will still have the concern about taking Zyrtec while pregnant. It is, however, good to know that all studies related to the intake of this antihistamine during the latter part of the pregnancy are proven safe. Before a pop a pill, you may want to consider the following:
- Relieve symptoms of allergies using the natural, home remedy approach
- Consult your doctor and get his approval
- Understand what triggers your allergy so you can avoid them altogether
I hope that I was able to shed light on this subject again. Do you have other tips to add or experience to share? Feel free to write them down below. Have a safe pregnancy! Until next post!