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Most minor illnesses and symptoms can readily be treated with over-the-counter medications.  The table below provides a partial list of over-the-counter medications already reviewed by your Arbor doctors to be considered safe and useful in the treatment of many common conditions.  We have business cards with similar information conveniently sized for your reference as well.  Consider whether you really need medication, particularly in the first trimester when your baby’s organs are developing.

Please discuss all prescription medicines with the physician at your first visit.  If you are unsure about a medication you take regularly, please contact our nurses (919-781-9555) prior to discontinuing your medication.  Take all medications according to the manufacturer’s directions listed on the bottle unless otherwise directed by the physician.

Be particularly careful with discontinuation of antidepressant medications.  Many can and should be used throughout the entire pregnancy.  Don’t stop these medicines ‘cold-turkey.’  Please contact our office or your mental health specialist first.

Many over-the-counter medications are combinations of some of the medicines listed here, e.g. cough and cold preparations.  Be sure that these combination medications do not have additional medications not listed as safe (such as ibuprofen or alcohol).

Avoid cold and cough medications containing pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine until after your first trimester (13 weeks).  Also, choose a different Heartburn medication than omeprazole/Prilosec in the first trimester (category C), since better studied medications are available.

We recommend that you discontinue any herbal remedies during your pregnancy.  Herbals are not regulated and often contain contaminants that might be hazardous to the pregnancy.

More Information

http://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets-parent – Consumer website from the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS).  This link has a fairly comprehensive list of FAQ sheets for prescription and non-prescription medications used in pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as other occupational and common exposures of pregnancy.

SymptomsMed TypeGenericBrand Name
Allergies (seasonal and acute nasal drip)•antihistamine•loratadine
•fexofenadine
•cetirizine
•diphenhydramine
•Claritin
•Allegra
•Zyrtec
•Benadryl
Nasal Congestion•saline decongestant


•vasoconstrictor steroid spray
•saline spray
•**phenylephrine

•**pseudoephedrine
•fluticasone propionate
•Ocean Mist
•**In many cold preparations

•**Sudafed
•Flonase
Cough•expectorant

•cough suppressant
•guaifenesin

•dextromethorphan
•Mucinex, Robitussin

•In many cold preparations
Heartburn•antacid•calcium carbonate

•aluminum
/magnesium
/simethicone
•Tums, Rolaids, Maalox tabs

• Maalox liquid, Mylanta
Gastric Reflux•antihistamine



•proton-pump inhibitor
•ranitidine
•famotidine
•cimetidine

•**omeprazole
•lansoprazole
•esomeprazole
•rabeprazole
•Zantac
•Pepcid
•Tagamet

•**Prilosec
•Prevacid
•Nexium
•AcipHex
Gas & Bloating•anti-foaming•simethicone•Mylicon
•Gas-X
•Phazyme
Constipation•stool softener

•bulking agent



•osmotic laxative




•stimulant laxative
•docusate

•bran
•psyllium husk
•methylcellulose

•polyethylene glycol (PEG)
•magnesium hydroxide

•bisacodyl (oral/supp.)
•Colace, Surfak

•Many Bran Cereals
•Metamucil
•Citrucel

•MiraLAX, GoLYTELY
•Milk of Magnesia



•Dulcolax, Correctol
Diarrhea•anti-diarrheal•loperamide•Imodium
Headache/Fever•analgesic/antipyretic•acetaminophen•Tylenol
Vaginal Yeast•antifungal•miconazole
•clotrimazole
•Monistat 3
•Gyne-Lotrimin 3
Insomnia•antihistamine•doxylamine
•diphenhydramine
•Unisom
•Benadryl
Motion Sickness•anti-nausea•meclizine


•dimenhydrinate
•Andtivert, Sea Legs, Dramamine Less Drowsy

•Dramamine Original

** avoid in 1st trimester

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