How You Should Handle Allergies When Pregnant

Pregnancy, unfortunately, doesn’t exempt you from allergies. So, if you were being treated for allergies before the pregnancy, it may be difficult to know what treatments are still safe for the baby. Here are a few treatments to use or avoid during the pregnancy.


While using antihistamines is ideal for dealing with nasal and eye symptoms of seasonal or perennial allergies, take them with a grain of caution. Chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine have both been used for many years by pregnant women with reassuring animal studies results. However, both of these drugs tend to cause drowsiness. Alternatives include loratadine and cetirizine, which have both animal and human studies to back them up. Neither causes drowsiness, and both are recommended for use during pregnancy.


Many over-the-counter nasal sprays can cause rebound congestion and may actually worsen your symptoms. Oxymetazoline is probably one of the safest products because there is minimal absorption into the bloodstream. Pseudoephedrine must be used with caution. While it has been used for years, there have been recent reports of a slight increase in abdominal wall defects in newborns. If allergies are making your life tough during the first trimester, consult your doctor about potential allergy relief.

Allergy Shots

Allergen immunotherapy is often used for people whose symptoms persist despite optimal environmental control and drug therapy. It can be carefully continued during pregnancy for those who are benefitting and not experiencing adverse reactions. However, because of the risk of anaphylaxis, doctors don’t recommend starting doses of immunotherapy during pregnancy.

Flu Vaccine

The flu shot is recommended for patients with moderate and severe asthma. It also has not been linked to any associated risk to the mother or to the fetus.

Whatever your normal allergy treatment is, make sure to verify the safety and effectiveness of the treatment after you become aware of your pregnancy. Do your best to avoid allergens by using air conditioning, cleaning the air filter in your home, and having someone else rake leaves or mow the lawn. You can also avoid going outdoors when the pollen count is high. If these preventative measures don’t solve the problem, an experienced allergy professional can review your case and make recommendations regarding treatments and medications.

For more information about allergies during pregnancy, or to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Georgia allergists, call one of our physicians at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia. Our practice focuses on providing the best heath care for people suffering from allergies, asthma, and sinus difficulties. Our board certified allergists and doctors provide comprehensive care and treatment for many people at nine convenient office locations. Contact us at (404) 994-3574 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment today.

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