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Over The Counter Heartburn Medicine Safe For Pregnancy

Heartburn Treatment For Pregnant Women

Safe alternatives to Zantac

Lifestyle and dietary changes, such as avoiding certain foods and eating smaller portions throughout the day, can lower the chances of heartburn.8 But for women who are still experiencing discomfort, an over-the-counter antacid like TUMS can be an effective treatment for occasional heartburn. The simple ingredient in TUMScalcium carbonateneutralizes stomach acid on contact. TUMS can start providing relief in minutes.

While studies have shown that antacids can be an effective treatment for pregnant women who have heartburn, be sure to talk to your doctor first.7 Together, you can come up with a plan that is safe for both you and your baby-to-be.


  • Pregnancy Week by Week: First Trimester Pregnancy: What to Expect. Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 14 Apr. 2017,
  • Heartburn: Overview. Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 17 May 2018,
  • Definition & Facts for GER & GERD. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Nov. 2014,
  • What Medicines To Avoid

    According to this list from BabyCenter, when picking out a heartburn medication, there are a few ingredients to avoid. Aluminum is one to avoid, as it can be constipating and toxic in very large doses. Also avoid any medicine containing aspirin, as it’s not recommended in high doses during pregnancy. Sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate are also ones to avoid. They both have high amounts of sodium, which causes water retention and swelling. No pregnant woman needs MORE swelling!

    Pain Or Headache Relief

    Acetaminophen is the drug of choice for pain during pregnancy. Its widely used with very few documented adverse effects.

    Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , on the other hand, should be avoided during pregnancy.

    NSAIDs include:

    • ketoprofen
    • naproxen

    If your pain is particularly severe after a surgery, for example your doctor may prescribe a short course of opioid pain relievers. When taken as directed, they may not affect fetal development.

    That said, opioid use during pregnancy does carry the risk of withdrawal, called neonatal abstinence syndrome , after delivery.

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    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.

    What Should I Take For Nausea During Pregnancy

    What medications are safe to take 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.

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    Blocked Nose During Pregnancy

    If you have a blocked nose during pregnancy, steam inhalations should provide some relief from nasal congestion. You could also try a saline nasal spray to clear away the mucus in the nose.

    ⢠Nasal or sinus decongestants

    Decongestants such as pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, xylometazoline and oxymetazoline should definitely be avoided during pregnancy. These have blood vessel constricting effects that could potentially restrict blood supply to the placenta, or cause problems for women with a history of pre-eclampsia.

    ⢠Lemsip when pregnant

    Lemsip is not advised during pregnancy. Paracetamol is generally considered safe for use during pregnancy, but the safety of pseudoephedrine has not been established and some studies have suggested that use of pseudoephedrine in the first trimester may be associated with birth defects, so Lemsip should be avoided.

    ⢠Strepsils in pregnancy

    Strepsils are not generally thought to be harmful to take when you’re pregnant. However, as the safety of Strepsils in pregnancy has not been fully studied, you may prefer to try natural remedies first.

    Learn What Causes Heartburn For Youthen Avoid It

    Fat, caffeine, chocolate, citruspregnant women with heartburn have been advised to avoid all of the above at one time or another. But what causes reflux in one woman might not be a trigger for another.

    Rather than tell his pregnant patients to avoid a specific food, Dr. Richter says he advises them to stay away from foods that specifically aggravate them. Everybodys different, Dr. Richter says. Some pregnant women can chow down on spicy Mexican food or a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with no ill effects.

    Recommended Reading: What Causes Heartburn After Every Meal

    Navigate Your Way Around Pregnancy Medications

    Its difficult to know what you can and cant take during pregnancy. Not all medications are completely off limits, but there are a few that are questionable. When it comes to antacids and other heartburn relief remedies, you want to watch out for anything that includes aspirin or baking soda. They can be dangerous to your baby.

    Natural remedies are by far the best types of medications you can take. They are safe and can be used with each other. If you are still struggling, look for those that give you immediate relief and always follow the directions. However, your doctor will be able to prescribe or recommend longer term options if your heartburn has manifested into GERD due to your pregnancy.

    Burning Sensation From Heartburn

    Over the Counter Medications During Pregnancy (Obstetrics – First Trimester)

    The burning sensation of gastroesophageal reflux is one of the worst symptoms. Some pregnant women experience localized chest pain from indigestion. Talk to your doctor to find out what is safe to take and to rule out other complications.

    Drinking raw apple cider vinegar mixed in water throughout the day can help balance your pregnancy heartburn.

    Coconut water can also act as an acid neutralizer. As a bonus, coconut water is great for rehydrating something that can be difficult during pregnancy.

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    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.

    When Can I Expect Heartburn To End

    Someday, scientists may very well invent a miracle medication that promises permanent pregnancy heartburn relief. Unfortunately, that hasnt happened yet.

    So, if youre wondering how long you can expect to deal with heartburn while youre pregnant, it will probably be throughout your entire pregnancy.

    However, just because theres no cure, that doesnt mean you cant find some relief in the meantime.

    Also Check: I Get Heartburn When I Drink Water

    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.

    Which Diet And Lifestyle Changes Relieve Heartburn During Pregnancy

    Pregnancy Care, Midwifery Appleton WI

    The management of heartburn during pregnancy involves many of the same principles as management in the non-pregnant state. Lifestyle changes may include:

  • Raise the head of the bed on 6- to 8-inch blocks. Alternatively, a 6- to 8-inch wedge-shaped foam rubber pad could be used to elevate the upper body. It is important the foam is firm enough to truly elevate the upper body. The wedge should also extend all the way to the waist so the entire chest is elevated.
  • Lying on the left side at night may decrease acid reflux just as it does in non-pregnant women with GERD. In this position, it is physically more difficult for acid to reflux into the esophagus.
  • Occasionally, it may be necessary to sleep in a recliner chair at a 45-degree or greater angle.
  • Any specific foods that aggravate heartburn should be avoided
  • Frequent, small meals should be eaten rather than three large meals, and the last meal of the day should be early in the evening.
  • After meals, pregnant women are prone to heartburn should not lie down.
  • After the evening meal, no further liquids should be consumed. The emptier the stomach at bedtime, the less likely there will be reflux of acid.
  • Smoking should be discontinued for numerous reasons during pregnancy, including that it aggravates reflux.
  • Also Check: Difference In Heartburn And Indigestion

    Acid Reducers For Heartburn

    There are two types of drugs that cut down on the production of acid in the stomach: histamine antagonists and proton pump inhibitors .

    Examples of H2 blockers available over the counter include:

    Note: The H2 blocker ranitidine, which was in older Zantac products, was removed from the market in 2020 after it was found to contain a cancer-causing agent.

    The proton-pump inhibitors esomeprazole , lansoprazole , and omeprazole are sold over-the-counter to treat frequent heartburn for 14 days. These types of medicines are also available as higher-strength prescriptions. Take them according to the directions on the package or as advised by your doctor.

    If these medications don’t relieve your symptoms, or if your heartburn symptoms get worse or last for longer than 2 weeks, you should see your doctor.

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Severe Heartburn Middle Of Night

    Read Also: How Do People Get Heartburn

    Can You Take Ibuprofen While Pregnant

    The pain relief component in Advil is ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug. Ibuprofen use is recommended to be avoided in pregnancy. Ibuprofen has been shown in clinical studies to be linked with miscarriages when taken in the third trimester. The United States Food and Drug Administration considers ibuprofen as a cause of lung damage and heart damage when taken in the third trimester. Evidence of fetal damage due to ibuprofen use is less clear when ibuprofen is taken during the first trimester of pregnancy. Some studies conclude that ibuprofen does not cause fetal malformations when taken in early weeks of pregnancy while other studies suggest ibuprofen can still be damaging when taken in early pregnancy. Recent research suggests that taking ibuprofen during early pregnancy can damage the ovary production of the fetus and lead to reduced reproduction capacity when the fetus grows into a mature adult. For these reasons you should not take Advil during pregnancy. Nsaids are sometimes used in the first trimester of prengnancy but you should definitely consult your physician before reaching for Advil.

    Tylenol is considered a better alternative if you absolutely must take an over the counter medication for the purpose of pain relief.

    Congestion And Allergy Symptoms

    Safe Over The Counter Medications for Pregnancy!

    For congestion issues, antihistamines such as diphenhydramine and loratidine appear to be safe during pregnancy. Avoid pseudoephedrine , since it may be associated with birth defects involving babys abdominal wall. Also, decongestants may affect blood flow to the placenta and should generally be avoided throughout your pregnancy.

    Also Check: What Can I Take For Heartburn And Indigestion

    Using Over The Counter Medications During Pregnancy

    The average American household spends more than $300 on over the counter medications per year. This demonstrates that using over the counter medication has become an integral part of our lives. As soon as we recognize a minor ailment we turn to our medicine cabinet and know before we even open it which medication will give us our fix. So can you use over the counter medications during pregnancy? Which over the counter medications can we take during pregnancy?

    The real answer is that no medication is recommended in pregnancy unless completely necessary. Most health experts will recommend natural remedies during pregnancy before turning to over the counter medications. The good news is that there are certain over the counter medications that have been deemed okay during pregnancy. I am going to mention the most common over the counter medications and discuss health information you should know about each one as it pertains to pregnancy.

    Possible Causes Of Heartburn

    Certain types of foods, most notably of the spicy variety, can contribute to heartburn. However, even foods like tomato products, peppermint, and chocolate can trigger these symptoms.2 Heartburn may also be caused by daily habits and lifestyle choices, such as exercise routines and the type of clothes worn 4, 5

    Recommended Reading: Is Heartburn A Symptom Of Pancreatic Cancer

    Get A General Health Check

    Planning a pregnancy is a good chance for both parents to get a full health check. If your doctor plans to prescribe you new medications or antibiotics, remind them that you are planning a pregnancy.

    If there is a family history of medical conditions on either side, such as cystic fibrosis or diabetes, let your doctor know. You may need genetic counselling with a trained specialist or referral for diabetic specialist preparation to pregnancy.

    Some sexually transmitted infections can be passed on to your baby during pregnancy, so make sure you have both been treated for any infections before planning to conceive.

    If the mother has a medical condition such as diabetes or epilepsy, or is being treated for depression or other mental illness, medications for these will need to be checked before conceiving to make sure they will not affect the baby.

    When To See A Doctor

    Heartburn Medicine Pregnancy During What Are Pregnancy ...

    You should call your healthcare provider if you:

    • Experience heartburn that doesnt go away
    • Have heartburn that wakes you up at night
    • Have trouble swallowing
    • Have black poop
    • Are losing weight

    If you have chest pain but never had heartburn before, you should see your doctor or seek emergency medical attention right away. It could be a sign of a heart attack.

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    What Medications Are Safe To Take During Pregnancy

    Over-the-counter antacids such as Tums, Rolaids, and Maalox may help you cope with occasional heartburn symptoms. Those made of calcium carbonate or magnesium are good options.

    However, it may be best to avoid magnesium during the last trimester of pregnancy. Magnesium could interfere with contractions during labor.

    Most doctors recommend avoiding antacids that contain high levels of sodium. These antacids can lead to a buildup of fluid in the tissues.

    You should also avoid any antacids that list aluminum on the label, as in aluminum hydroxide or aluminum carbonate. These antacids can lead to constipation.

    Finally, stay away from medications like Alka-Seltzer that may contain aspirin.

    Ask your doctor for the best option. If you find yourself downing bottles of antacids, your heartburn may have progressed to gastroesophageal acid reflux disease . In that case, you may need a stronger treatment.

    Heartburn Treatment And Acid Reflux Relief

    Most of the time, you can treat mild to moderate heartburn by using over-the-counter treatments. These products can help to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach, thereby providing acid reflux relief. These treatments can also help to soothe stomach upset and indigestion. If your heartburn becomes more frequent or youâre noticing that itâs more painful, you may have acid reflux, or a chronic condition called GERD. If your symptoms persist or become more frequent, itâs best to talk to your doctor about possible treatment options.

    Also Check: Natural Ways To Relieve Heartburn

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    Vaginal Thrush During Pregnancy

    Thanks to naturally occurring hormonal changes, during pregnancy some women are more susceptible to vaginal thrush.

    ⢠Antifungal medicines in pregnancy

    There is not a great deal of information available about the safety of oral antifungal medicines to treat thrush, such as fluconazole during pregnancy, so we would advise you not to take them.

    ⢠Antifungal cream or pessaries in pregnancy

    Your doctor may prescribe you antifungal cream or pessaries, such as clotrimazole during pregnancy. But these products should only be used after discussion of the risks and benefits with your doctor. If you are prescribed a vaginal preparation, take care with vaginal applicators to avoid damaging the cervix, or avoid using them altogether.


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