Medications to Avoid While Pregnant

Five common household medications to stay clear of when you’re expecting


During pregnancy, some common household medications become off limits. So before turning to your usual headache or fever reducer, learn more about which medications you should avoid when you’re expecting.


Found in Advil and Motrin, ibuprofen is not recommended during pregnancy. It may cause serious harm to your unborn child. If you happen to get a fever during pregnancy, you may take acetaminophen, like regular Tylenol. You should use this sparingly and check with your doctor first to be sure. If you have a very high fever while expecting, it’s best to take a fever reducer like Tylenol rather than allowing your body temperature to increase too much, but always ask your doctor first.


Found in over-the-counter migraine medications like Aleve, naproxen can be harmful to an unborn child. Migraines can be extremely painful and tiring, especially during pregnancy. If you have painful and persistent migraines, check with your doctor about possible natural remedies to help. 

St. John’s Wort

A commonly used natural herbal remedy, found at pharmacies, St. John’s Wort should be avoided during pregnancy. In fact, if you use it regularly, you should stop for at least three months before conceiving. Generally taken for premenstrual symptoms or depression, the effects of this product on pregnancy are still unknown so it’s safer to avoid it.


Pregnancy is known to cause constipation. While it doesn’t present any danger to your unborn child, constipation can be most uncomfortable. Over-the-counter laxatives should be avoided. Try eating more fibre and if that doesn’t work, you can try fibre supplements or some types of suppositories. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend the safest products. 


Found in allergy medications, this is another harmful substance to an unborn baby. There are some allergy medications your can take, like Claritin. To be on the safe side, ask the pharmacist for his or her recommendation if your allergies are problematic.

If you unknowingly took some of these medications early on in pregnancy, don’t panic. Very often, medications taken in the first six weeks of pregnancy are harmless to the fetus. If you did take one of the above-mentioned medications before finding out you were pregnant, let your doctor know. But there is no need to panic. As long as you don’t repeatedly take these medications, you’re likely to have a safe pregnancy.

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