Medical Treatment Of Gerd During Pregnancy
The challenge of treatment during pregnancy is the potential teratogenicity of common antireflux medications. Lifestyle modification is the key for treating mild symptoms. Smaller meals, not eating late at night, elevation of the head of the bed and avoiding foods and mediations causing heartburn usually relieve the mild symptoms seen in early pregnancy. Chewing gum stimulates the salivary glands and can help neutralize acid. Abstinence from alcohol and tobacco are encouraged to reduce reflux symptoms and to avoid fetal exposure to these harmful substances.
For more troubling reflux symptoms, the doctor must discuss with the patient the benefits vs. the risk of drug therapy. Informed consent is appropriate. Nearly all medications are not tested in randomized-controlled studies in pregnant women because of ethical and medicolegal concerns. Most recommendations on drug safety arise from case reports and cohort studies by doctors, pharmaceutical companies or the FDA. Voluntary reporting by the manufacturers suffers from unknown duration of follow-up, absence of appropriate controls and possible reporting bias.
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When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider About Heartburn During Pregnancy
If heartburn isnt going away, talk to your provider. They can prescribe medications that are safe to take while pregnant.
You should also call your provider if you:
- Have heartburn that wakes you up at night.
- Have trouble swallowing.
- Have black poop.
- Are losing weight.
Heartburn can have similar symptoms to a heart attack. If youve never had heartburn before and youre having chest pains, call your provider or head to the nearest ER.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Heartburn during pregnancy is a common pregnancy symptom, especially in the third trimester. You can prevent or get relief from heartburn during pregnancy by making a few changes to your diet, like eating more frequent but smaller meals and avoiding spicy or fried foods. Some yogurt or milk may also help relieve symptoms. Before you take antacids, be sure to check with your provider for the safest option to take during pregnancy.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/29/2021.
Opt For A Cold Ice Cream
Another popular medication prescribed is ice cream. This has a similar cooling effect as milk, because of the temperature. Its easy to swallow, and youll be able to get the immediate, temporary relief.
But isnt ice cream full of sugar? Well, yes and no. You could make your own at home from mashed banana, milk, and cream. That will help to keep the calories to a minimum, and youll get more nutrients.
Try to avoid chocolate flavored ice cream. If buying it from the store, plain vanilla or banana are the best options.
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What Is Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
People use the terms heartburn and acid reflux to mean the same thing. But they have different definitions:
- Acid reflux refers to the LES not tightening as it should. This allows the stomach acid to travel from your stomach up to your esophagus.
- Heartburn, the feeling of pain or burning in your chest, is a symptom of acid reflux.
Women may have acid reflux during pregnancy and experience heartburn due to changing hormone levels and the baby growing.
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Safe Prescription Allergy Medications
- Singulair : Usage of montelukast during pregnancy for treatment of asthma does not appear to increase the risk of major birth defects.
- Allergy shots : Its considered safe to continue your allergy shots during pregnancy. Let your healthcare providers know that youre pregnant and they will carefully monitor your dosage.
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What Should I Take For Nausea During Pregnancy
Zofran is a commonly prescribed medication used to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. Zofrans FDA-approved use is for nausea caused by chemotherapy and surgery, and its use for nausea caused by pregnancy is considered off-label. Some studies suggest there is a small increase in chance for cleft palate and heart defects when Zofran is used in the first trimester.
Diclegis and Bonjesta
Both Diclegis and Bonjesta are FDA-approved for treatment of nausea during pregnancy. Their active ingredients are doxylamine and vitamin B6. Neither is approved for use with hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, which often requires hospitalization. Given that the active ingredients in these medications have been used for nausea in pregnant women for the past 60 years, it makes sense to combine their powers for improved relief. Remember that lifestyle changes are the best way to tackle nausea, but if medication is needed, one of these two is the way to go.
Opt For A Glass Of Cold Milk
There is nothing better for heartburn during pregnancy than a glass of milk. This is the number one medication prescribed by doctors because it is effective, healthy, and natural. You will likely already have it in the house.
You dont even need to have cows milk. Even soya and almond milk will do the trick. What you want is something thats cold and neutral against the acidic levels in your stomach and esophagus. While balancing the acid, you will get more calcium in your diet to support your growing baby.
Do watch out for the amount of milk you drink. It does have natural sugars and some fats, so you dont want to replace every drink you have with it. Just one glass should be enough for immediate relief. The downside is that it doesnt offer the long-term effects.
Dont add chocolate to your milk to make it taste better. Chocolate is one of the worst offenders for causing heartburn during pregnancy.
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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
Heartburn Medicines When Your Are Pregnant
All the medications that you would usually take become questionable when youre pregnant. There are some that thin the blood and others that cause problems for the cell growth and structures of your growing little one.
Now you must think twice about what to take and what to avoid regarding heartburn medicine. It can be tricky, especially when it comes to the symptoms of pregnancy. You have to put up with pain, sickness, and heartburn medicine.
The good news is that many heartburn medicine and medications are safe during pregnancy. Here are 15 that you can definitely take, with some over the counter options and some herbal remedies to soothe and treat your acid reflux.
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What Makes It Better
For most women, things that help reduce acid production or prevent reux are helpful in avoiding the discomfort of heartburn. Here are tips that may help:
Avoid classic spicy foods, as well as those with lots of fat or grease. Many people recommend avoiding citrus and chocolate, as well.
Eat multiple, small meals spread throughout the day, much like grazing, instead of three big meals.
Try elevating the head of your bed by several inches, and wait a while after eating before going to bed or lying down.
Some women find that its better to drink fluids between meals, rather than with a meal. This can increase the amount of contents in the stomach.
If your symptoms do not improve after the above recommended diet and lifestyle changes are in place, talk with your healthcare provider about over-the-counter medicines. Antacids are available as chewable tablets and liquids. They work by coating the lining of the esophagus and stomach and neutralizing stomach acid. Heartburn medicines called H2-blockers work by reducing the amount of acid made by your stomach. Although most of these are considered safe in pregnancy, as with all medicines, these should be avoided in the first trimester.
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Indigestion And Heartburn In Pregnancy
Indigestion, also called heartburn or acid reflux, is common in pregnancy. It can be caused by hormonal changes and the growing baby pressing against your stomach.
You can help ease indigestion and heartburn by making changes to your diet and lifestyle, and there are medicines that are safe to take in pregnancy.
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Mild And Severe Allergies
Mild allergies may respond well to lifestyle measures. If you need some extra help, the following OTC oral antihistamines are generally considered safe:
If your allergies are more severe, your doctor may suggest taking an OTC corticosteroid spray at a low dose along with an oral antihistamine. Options include:
You may also try the following lifestyle changes:
- Avoid going outdoors or opening windows on high pollen days.
- Take off clothing youve been wearing outdoors. Rinse off pollen from skin and hair with a quick shower.
- Wear a mask while completing outdoor chores or enlist the help of someone else for tasks like mowing.
- Rinse nasal passages with saline spray or a neti pot.
What Makes It Worse
Most spicy, greasy, fatty foods known for causing heartburn are also likely to cause problems for pregnant women. Food doesnt digest as well or move as quickly during pregnancy. So, eating large meals or overeating in general can also increase the risk for heartburn. Eating right before bedtime can cause problems, too. Smoking makes heartburn worse and is another reason to quit, especially while pregnant.
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Which Medicines Can I Take
If lifestyle changes donât provide you with relief, you may want to consider taking a medicine to help with your heartburn. Itâs always important to check with your pharmacist or GP before taking any medicines during pregnancy.
Some types of antacids can be taken in pregnancy. These help neutralise excess acid, relieving symptoms. You can find antacids as chewable tablets or in liquid form. Check with your pharmacist which antacids are most suitable to be used in pregnancy.
If youâre still getting symptoms, or youâre vomiting frequently because of heartburn, itâs best to speak with your midwife or GP who will be able to offer you further advice.
What Medications Can I Take For Heartburn During Pregnancy
Its important to be extremely careful about the medications you take when pregnant.
For heartburn relief, over-the-counter antacids are all considered safe medications to use during pregnancy.
As always, consult with your provider about any medications youre taking even if theyre considered safe.
If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking an over-the-counter medication, call your doctor immediately.
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When To Get Medical Help
See your midwife or GP if you need help managing your symptoms or if changes to your diet and lifestyle do not work. They may recommend medicine to ease your symptoms.
You should also see your midwife or GP if you have any of the following:
- difficulty eating or keeping food down
- weight loss
- stomach pains
Your midwife or GP may ask about your symptoms and examine you by pressing gently on different areas of your chest and stomach to see whether it’s painful.
How To Help Alleviate Heartburn In Pregnancy
The first line of management of heartburn is lifestyle changes. Eating smaller meals, not eating at night and raising your bedhead are all key steps to take.
In cases of more troublesome symptoms, or if symptoms persist despite lifestyle changes, you may wish to discuss medications with your doctor. There are a variety of such medications, for example, antacids are a fast and effective means to alleviate your heartburn symptoms may be due to their rapid symptom relief. It is important to discuss the most appropriate management of heartburn and any other symptoms with your health care professional.
Common Uses For Pepcid During Pregnancy
Pepcid is often a go-to OTC drug for those who have heartburn and indigestion during pregnancy.
There are many people who experience acid reflux in pregnancy due to high levels of progesterone and the increasing size of the uterus, says Rachel Gerber, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist and board certified OB-GYN at Reproductive Medicine Associates.
Pregnancy hormones slow down the muscles of the digestive tract, which causes food to move more slowly, leaving you with a sluggish digestive system.
You may also experience indigestion and heartburn when hormones relax the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach, causing the food and acids to come back up from the stomach to the esophagus. This process is responsible for the burning feeling that comes with heartburn.
When lifestyle and dietary changes dont help relieve heartburn in pregnancy, Ross says you can take Pepcid AC by mouth once or twice a day with or without food. As always, discuss taking any new medication with your doctor during pregnancy.
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Heartburn Medications That Are Safe For Pregnancy
13 June, 2017
Some women have never experienced heartburn until they became pregnant, and others have had it for years before becoming pregnant. Regardless, pregnancy can increase the likelihood of heartburn for several reasons including hormones, extra weight and pressure from the baby.
Heartburn prevention methods, such as eating several small meals throughout the day and avoiding certain trigger foods, are the first line of treatment during pregnancy. When the issue does not improve, a doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medicines.
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Appendix G Economic Evidence Study Selection
Economic evidence study selection for review question: What interventions are effective in treating heartburn during pregnancy?
A single economic search was undertaken for all topics included in the scope of this guideline. No economic studies were identified which were applicable to this review question. See for details.
Why Is Heartburn Worse During Pregnancy
When youre pregnant, you have higher-than-normal amounts the hormone progesterone. Progesterone is a big factor in helping the placenta function correctly during pregnancy. But, it also causes the valve at the bottom of the esophagus to relax, making it possible for acid to travel back up the tube, according to the American Pregnancy Association .
Another cause of heartburn in pregnancy is the babys size. As you get into your third trimester, the baby is big enough to put pressure on your stomach, which can force acid back up the esophagus. This is why heartburn symptoms often increase once you enter the third trimester.
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Is It Safe To Take Tums During Pregnancy
Heartburn is a burning sensation that often extends from the bottom of the breastbone to the lower throat. It is caused by hormonal and physical changes in your body. During pregnancy, the placenta produces the hormone progesterone. Progesterone relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus, but it also relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. This allows gastric acids to seep back up, which causes the unpleasant burning sensation.
Most people know antacids can provide fast, safe relief for heartburn. The question you have is whether or not it is safe to take TUMS during pregnancy? TUMS provides safe heartburn relief for women who are pregnant. TUMS also adds calcium to your body. When you are pregnant, your body may need between 1,000 mg and 1,300 mg of elemental calcium per day.
Be sure to take TUMS at a different time than you take iron supplements. It is recommended to space doses of these antacids and iron supplements one to two hours apart, to get the full benefit from each medicine or dietary supplement. You should consult with your healthcare provider before taking any antacids containing sodium bicarbonate.
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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.
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Consider Maalox For Your Immediate Heartburn Relief
If youre still struggling to find something that will help to relieve your heartburn, you could consider Maalox. This is very similar to TUMs and offers immediate relief. Its commonly suggested to patients who have too much stomach acid or are commonly bloated or have issues with belching.
The medication works by breaking up bubbles in the body. It also neutralizes the existing stomach acid. The downside is that it doesnt prevent the problem from occurring again.
This is one of the most debated options when it comes to heartburn relief. There is some aluminum in the medication, which can be harmful to the baby in large amounts. You need to follow the instructions given by your doctor or pharmacist to keep your unborn baby safe.