Is Benadryl Safe During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a difficult time for every women but there are medicines at your rescue. Problems like skin itching, rashes, watery eyes and cold can appear at any moment when you have a baby inside your bump as your body starts to adapt in a new environment.

Problems related to cough, cold and sleeplessness is among the common ones faced by pregnant women and the first medicine you might remember is Benadryl.

But, is Benadryl safe to take during pregnancy?

Here we discover all the details regarding this medication.

What is Benadryl?

Benadryl is one of the most common medication prescribed for the cure of cough and cold, watery eyes, itching, hives and different form of allergies.

An antihistamine also called as Diphenhydramine in scientific terms, the medication is used to block the effects of naturally occuring chemical histamine in the body.

Benadryl is also considered as a sleep inducing drug and helps pregnant women when they face sleeplessness. Available in different forms including tablets and liquid, the medication can be taken with or without food.

Diphenhydramine is also rated pregnancy category B by the FDA which means that researches are yet to discover about any kind of risks to a developing fetus in animals. Despite no harm being recorded, a well-designed human studies has not been carried out to test its effects.

The FDA also says that Benadryl is not still proven to be completely safe during pregnancy and it is strongly advised to take the prescription from a doctor.

Side effects of Benadryl during pregnancy

Histamines or organic compounds affect the physiological function in the gut because of which problems related to itching and rashes start to appear. The problem, if prolonged for long, can affect the body and cause cold and cough.

Benadryl, which acts as an anti-histamine is not found to have any major associations with birth malfunctions. However, more research about the use and risks associated with diphenhydramine is yet to be studied.

As Benadryl crosses the placenta, potential risks to a baby include cleft lip or palate during the first trimester together with different other complications in the mother, which are discussed below.

Benadryl can affect nervous system

This medication has been reported to cause side effects on the nervous system frequently. As a sedative, it can cause drowsiness which can lead to problems including depression in the long term. Also, motor skills can be impaired.

Similarly, excess dose of the drug can cause mental impairment as well. Because of the dystonic reacting the drug can cause, problems related to dizziness, lip and tongue protrusion, mental confusion, and swallowing problems have been recorded.

Benadryl can cause hypersensitivity

A study done by the John Hopkins University has found that this medication has also relations with hypersentivity which can further lead to problems including eczema, rashes and pruritis.

Benadryl can cause gastrointestinal problems

A research has found that the drug is associated with simple gastrointestinal problems because of prolonged use or continuous dosage. Problems recorded are nausea, dry mouth and vomiting.

Benadryl can cause cardiovascular problems

Problems related to hypotension, palpitations, tachycardia has been reported.

Other common side effects are:

  • Sedation
  • Disturbed coordination
  • Sleepiness
  • Thickening of bronchial secretions
  • Little or no urinating
  • Dizziness
  • tightness in your neck or jaw, uncontrollable movements of your tongue
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Epigastric distress
  • Pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest
  • Constipation, upset stomach
  • Confusion, feeling like you might pass out

When to avoid Benadryl during pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a high-risk period for you and your baby and you need to stay aware of every complications that can occur. In certain cases, it is advised not to take the medication without being prescribed by the doctor and here are a few cases when you need to stay aware:

  • a colostomy or ileostomy
  • breathing disorders like asthma
  • stomach or intestinal problems
  • urinary problems
  • liver or kidney problems
  • low blood pressure
  • glaucoma
  • thyroid disorder

Is it safe to take Benadryl during breastfeeding?

Occasional doses of diphenhydramine is generally believed to cause no harm to the mother during the postpartum stage.

However, continuous use or larger dose has been reported to cause problems like decrease in milk supply, irritability and colicky symptoms in the mother.

Also, infants who fed on milk from the mother taking extra doses of the medicine were exposed to problems like drowsiness, rash on the upper trunk and face.

Always make sure to see a doctor when you see any problems or feel difficult when you are taking benadryl as a prescribed drug.

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