Pregnant? How to Check which Over-the-Counter Medicines are Safe to Take


Which treatments should I use if I pregnant? Will this medication harm my baby? Can it cause contractions or premature labor? Can it cause complications?

Yes, been there, done that. These are very common questions every mom-to-be worries about before popping any pill. Call it maternal instinct, but I believe such worries are totally understandable and can save your baby from any possible harm!

Being a mom myself, I often worried about anything I ate or drank when I was pregnant. And I’m sure every mom has been a worrywart about this as well!

Anyone can tell you that the safest course is not to take the med at all. And though I’m a pharmacist who lives and breathes drugs, I totally agree to this. If you can deal with a symptom in a natural way, like a change in diet or eating more of a certain food that’s pregnancy-safe, then this would be great!

However, if your symptoms are truly bothering you or are getting worse, taking medications can greatly help. Of course, it’s always better to ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking anything. But if you can’t access one (I’m available 24/7…) and you need instant relief, you can perhaps decide for yourself whether or not it’s safe to take.

FDA Pregnancy Categories

Most drugs have been classified by the FDA using a Pregnancy Category. These categories can act as a guide as to the safety of certain medications. Check out these five categories below:

So let’s simplify the info. Basically, drugs under Category A are the safest to take. They’ve undergone testing on humans and do not pose any harm to the fetus.

Those in Category B are safe to take as well. They can mostly be taken by pregnant women without any complications.

Category C can be a bit tricky. Usually, these drugs are prescribed only when truly necessary. You’ll surely have to consult your doctor before taking one of these.

Drugs under Category D are only given in situations where the benefits to the mother outweigh risks to the baby. Conditions that are life-threatening can be such cases.

Finally, Category X likely speaks for itself. Pregnant moms should definitely not take these medications under any circumstances. They’ve been proven to cause harm to the fetus and carry a very high risk for malformations.

If you’re pregnant and wondering whether a medication is safe for you to take, you can check which category this drug is in. Knowing about these categories can help guide you on whether or not a medication is suitable for you to take.

In my previous posts you can learn what to expect for each trimester stage you are and which medicines you should use:

First trimester – Your First Trimester and Its Symptoms

Second trimester – What to Expect From Your Second Trimester

Third trimester – Your Third Trimester and Symptoms to Expect

Try our Filter for Pregnant!

Better yet, you can use our pregnancy filter when searching for medications for the symptoms you have. We’ve done the work for you–all you have to do is put in the trimester you’re in and your preferences, and we’ll show you which products are most likely to be safe.

Of course, if you get the chance to talk to your doctor, you might as well ask if a medication is okay for you to take. There are cases when a drug is generally safe but is not advisable in certain situations. This is true if you have other conditions that may pose complications with your pregnancy.

So good luck with any symptoms you’re experiencing! Remember, a bit of rest plus a healthy diet can always help you feel better during this very exciting phase.