I can ask my midwives about this, but I figured I'd ask here too. My seasonal allergies flared today (tree pollen) and I almost reached for the Claritin when I realized I don't know if it's safe in pregnancy. Any reliable websites to look this up? What are the rest of you doing for seasonal allergies?
any antihistamines safe in pregnancy? other seasonal allergy treatments?
I have allergies, and when they're uncontrolled they tend to trigger my asthma. Some women can manage their allergies with nasal sprays and sinus rinses, but for me that doesn't help and the potential danger is too much of a risk. Albuterol is a class C drug because animal studies have shown it to be teratogenic (dangerous to the baby), so I really don't want to use my inhaler if it's not necessary. My MW made it clear to me that an asthma attack is more dangerous than albuterol, so in my book antihistamines are really the least evil. I am not apologetic about taking antihistamines when I need them.
Most antihistamines are class B drugs. That means that there have been no studies of it in pregnant women (well duh - who would participate?), but animal studies have shown them to be safe during pregnancy. The first line of treatment would be Benadryl or Chlor-Trimaton, which have been around for long enough that there is adequate human data to suggest they are safe. From my reading, Chlor-Trimaton is the drug of choice... but it puts me to sleep for like 13 hours, so it's not really an option. I use a mixture of Claritin, Zyrtec, and Benadryl. I tend to rotate them to spread the risk, and take the lowest dose that still has an effect on me (usually a half dose). And I only take it when I need it, rather than taking it every day to prevent allergies.
Thanks! Yeah, I definitely see how antihistamines are the least of the evils in your case! Before I was pregnant I got really drowsy taking Benadryl or Chlor-trimeton, too. My midwife recommended that if the allergies aren't really awful (which they aren't--just a lot of sneezing and nose-blowing) I should just do neti pot and maybe an herbal steam inhalation with Sleepytime tea :) So that's what I'll stick with for now. I guess I could just stay indoors, but who wants to do that when it's so nice outside otherwise?
I'm so glad to know that occasional Benadryl is safe! Thanks, Dealea! I don't get the sneezy springtime allergies, but there is something that makes me break out in hives. I never have figured out what it is, but it's evidently in the air at twilight in the late spring and early summer, used to be only in the Midwest, but last summer it was here in Pittsburgh too. A single dose of Benadryl stops it in its tracks. So it's good to know I can take that if I need it. It also helps with my dog allergy, which was more severe during pregnancy the first time--this time, I have managed to avoid being near dogs indoors, so far.