Can I Take Mucinex Early Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant, it’s common to worry about whether your cold medicines are safe for baby. Your doctor will likely tell you that many medications in pills and capsules are considered unsafe during pregnancy, but there are some ways to get relief from symptoms without taking a pill. In this post, we’ll talk about why it’s usually unsafe to take Mucinex while pregnant and what you can do instead.

Is Mucinex safe for pregnancy?

As you may know, Mucinex is a medication used to treat cold and flu symptoms. The drug contains guaifenesin as its active ingredient. Guaifenesin works by thinning the mucus in your body so that it can be more easily expelled from your body.

If you are pregnant and experience long-term congestion or cough symptoms, there’s a chance that taking this medication could help relieve them. However, there have been no studies done on its safety during pregnancy—so it’s important to consult with your doctor first before taking this or any other medication while pregnant. You should never take any drugs without first discussing them with your healthcare provider!

Pregnant women often have nasal congestion due to increased blood flow in their nasal passages; this condition is known as rhinorrhea or “runny nose.” Rhinorrhea can be caused by allergies or viral infections like colds; therefore some women experience runny noses early on in their pregnancies (especially if they live in areas where pollen counts are high).

Mucinex and Tylenol

If you are pregnant, or even if you are just trying to get pregnant, it is important that you understand the risks associated with taking drugs. There are many medications and supplements that are safe for use during pregnancy, but there are also some medications that can harm a developing baby. One of these medications is Mucinex (guaifenesin). This medication is used to treat colds and other respiratory issues. Since it expels moisture from your lungs, mucus buildup will be reduced in those who take this drug during their pregnancies. However, it may cause birth defects in unborn babies if taken during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Again: DO NOT TAKE THIS DRUG IF YOU ARE PREGNANT! If you do become pregnant while taking this drug, discontinue use immediately!

Can I take medicine for a cold while pregnant?

When you are pregnant, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any medication. Ask if you can take a decongestant or cough suppressant and if you can take pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Some medications are safe for use during pregnancy while others are not. Your doctor will also advise you on how much medicine is safe for your body weight and the length of time that it’s safe for you to take the medication.

The Safest Way to Treat Pregnancy Congestion

The first step that you can take to treat pregnancy congestion is to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and smoking. This will help keep your nose from becoming stuffy or clogged.

Next, try to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day and making sure that you eat healthy foods that contain lots of water (like fruits). Once again, this will ensure that your nasal passages are moist so they do not become dry or irritated by other substances like dust particles floating in the air surrounding them.

If none of these options work for you—or if they’re just not convenient enough—there are other products available at local pharmacies as well as online stores such as Amazon Prime where Mucinex expectant mothers may purchase their own supply without having any prescription requirements whatsoever: saline nasal sprays; humidifiers; vaporizers; cough suppressants/throat lozenges

Natural Remedies for Pregnancy Congestion

  • Use a humidifier
  • Sip warm liquids
  • Use a cold compress
  • Take a hot shower
  • Use a vaporizer
  • Take a warm shower with your head leaned over the bathtub so that you can breathe in the steam from the hot water as it pours out of the faucet (this technique is also helpful for clearing congestion caused by colds).
  • Use nasal saline spray or drops to help thin mucus and reduce swelling in your nasal passages and sinuses, making them less likely to become blocked in the first place (you can buy these at most drug stores or online).
  • Take advantage of any other natural remedies for pregnancy congestion such as neti pots, cool mist humidifiers, saline nasal sprays and more!

When to call the doctor

If you are concerned about your symptoms, talk to your doctor.

Your doctor may suggest medication to treat allergies. If you have a severe allergy and need an epinephrine pen (EpiPen), ask your doctor if it is safe for you to continue using the epinephrine pen during pregnancy. It is only recommended for use in an emergency situation until there is time for medical treatment.

Ask your doctor if it’s okay to take antihistamines while breastfeeding.

You don’t have to suffer in silence if you have a cold when you are pregnant.

If you feel like you have a cold when you are pregnant, there are ways to manage your symptoms that don’t involve taking medication. You can make some herbal teas or try using essential oils on the back of your neck. If these natural remedies don’t work for you, then it might be time to talk with your doctor about using medications. It is important to use the right medicine and not overdo it, as well as take any other precautions necessary for safety when taking medications during pregnancy

Conclusion

It’s okay to take a decongestant if you have a cold while pregnant, but you should consult your doctor first. If they advise against it, or if you want to avoid medicine entirely, there are many natural remedies that can help with congestion. Whatever treatment method you choose, remember that keeping yourself well-rested and nourished is the best way to fight off the symptoms of a cold.

While you’re pregnant, you want to ensure your baby is born safe and healthy. That includes seeing your obstetrician regularly, watching your diet, getting exercise, and making sure any medication you take is safe for your baby.

Which Cold Medicines Are Safe to Take While Pregnant?

Doctors have studied many different cold remedies that are deemed safe to take during pregnancy. These include:

  • Benadryl
  • Robitussin
  • Mucinex
  • Tylenol
  • Cough drops (both menthol and non-menthol)
  • Saline nasal drops

Make sure not to take any formulations of these medicines that are labeled SA for “sustained action” or “multi-symptom.”

Which Over-the-Counter Pain Medications are OK for Pregnant Women?

For headache or backache pain during pregnancy, doctors prefer you take Tylenol. Aspirin isn’t recommended, nor are NSAIDs like Aleve or ibuprofen such as Advil.

Is Tylenol Cold Safe During Pregnancy?

Tylenol Cold contains acetaminophen, dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant), and phenylephrine (a decongestant). Phenylephrine should be avoided. Your doctor may allow limited amounts of Tylenol Cold after the first trimester.

Can I Take NyQuil While Pregnant?

Doctors don’t recommend you take NyQuil during pregnancy due to its high alcohol content.

Which Drugs Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy?

It’s best to ask your doctor before taking any medication during pregnancy. Even herbal remedies and vitamins either haven’t been adequately studied. Common medications that should be avoided during pregnancy include:

  • ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure or congestive heart failure, which can cause miscarriage or birth defects
  • Isotretinoin (Accutane) for cystic acne causes extreme birth defects
  • Methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis causes birth defects or miscarriage
  • Naproxen (Aleve), an NSAID used for pain treatment, can cause birth defects, miscarriage, increased fetal blood pressure and can reduce the amount of amniotic fluid
  • Valproic acid for epilepsy and bipolar disorder can cause heart defects and cleft palate

Which Medicines Are OK to Take During Pregnancy?

There are many medications that are safe to use in moderation during pregnancy. Including:

  • Heartburn remedies like Tums, Mylanta, and others that contain calcium carbonates
  • Anti-diarrheal medications like Kaopectate; avoid those containing salicylates like Pepto Bismol
  • Prenatal vitamins
  • Antihistamines that contain diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and loratadine (Claritin)
  • Anti-Gas remedies such as Gas-X and Mylicon
  • Cough medicines that contain dextromethorphan (Mucinex and Robitussin)
  • Sleep aids like Tylenol PM, Unisom, Sominex, and Nytol

Is Robitussin DM Safe to Take During Pregnancy?

Robitussin DM is a cough remedy containing guaifenesin to loosen mucus and dextromethorphan, a medication to suppress coughing. Both ingredients are safe to use during pregnancy.

What Are Safe Cough Medicines to Take While Pregnant?

Ask your doctor before taking any cough remedies during your first trimester. Cough medicines and cough drops are generally regarded as safe during the second and third trimesters and include those containing dextromethorphan. Brand names are:

  • Mucinex
  • Robitussin
  • Vicks 44

Can You Use Vicks While Pregnant?

The active ingredients in Vicks VapoRub are menthol and camphor oils used as a cough suppressant. Vick 44 is a cough syrup that contains dextromethorphan. These medications have been deemed safe for use during pregnancy.

To get more information about which medications you should take while pregnant, make an appointment today Huey & Weprin Ob/Gyn in Englewood and Kettering, OH. We offer specialized, compassionate care combined with cutting-edge treatments in obstetrics and gynecology.

Is all Mucinex Safe During Pregnancy

What is guaifenesin?

Guaifenesin is a medication that is an expectorant. Expectorants are used to thin and loosen mucus in the throat and lungs. This process makes it easier to cough up and remove the mucus from the body. Guaifenesin can be found in over-the-counter cough and cold medications.

Sometimes when people find out they are pregnant, they think about changing how they take their medication, or stopping their medication altogether. However, it is important to talk with your healthcare providers before making any changes to how you take your medications. Your healthcare providers can talk with you about the benefits of treating your condition and the risks of untreated illness during pregnancy.

I take guaifenesin. Can it make it harder for me to get pregnant?

Based on the data available, guaifenesin is not expected to make it harder to become pregnant.

Does taking guaifenesin increase the chance for miscarriage? 

Miscarriage can occur in any pregnancy. Based on the data available, it is not known if guaifenesin increases the chance for miscarriage.

Does taking guaifenesin increase the chance of birth defects?

Every pregnancy starts out with a 3-5% chance of having a birth defect. This is called the background risk. Most studies suggest that guaifenesin is not associated with an increased risk of birth defects over background risk.

Does taking guaifenesin in pregnancy increase the chance of other pregnancy related problems?

Based on the studies reviewed, it is not known if guaifenesin can cause other pregnancy-related problems, such as preterm delivery (birth before week 37) or low birth weight (weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces [2500 grams] at birth).

Does taking guaifenesin in pregnancy cause long-term problems in behavior or learning for the baby? 

Based on the data available, it is not known if guaifenesin can cause behavior or learning issues.

Breastfeeding while taking guaifenesin: 

The use of guaifenesin while breastfeeding has not been studied and it is not known if guaifenesin can cause problems for a baby that is breastfeeding. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about all of your breastfeeding questions.

If a male takes guaifenesin, could it affect fertility (ability to get partner pregnant) or increase the chance of birth defects?

Use of guaifenesin has not been studied for effects on sperm in relation to fertility or affecting a partner’s pregnancy. In general, exposures that fathers or sperm donors have does not increase risk to a pregnancy. For more information, please see the MotherToBaby fact sheet on fact sheet Paternal Exposures at https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/paternal-exposures-pregnancy/.

Can You Take Mucinex in Pregnancy

Mucinex is an over-the-counter medication to treat colds and coughs. If you are taking Mucinex while pregnant, you need to be cautious. Varying in composition and strength, the range of medicines includes tablets, capsules, and syrups. Contracting a common cold and cough during pregnancy can keep you ill for longer or make you feel more tired than you normally feel (1). Therefore, you should consult your healthcare practitioner before taking over-the-counter medicines, including Mucinex.

Read on to understand whether it is safe for pregnant women to take Mucinex, the different Mucinex products’ composition, risks, and side effects.

What Is Mucinex?

Mucinex is a brand with most products containing the generic drug Guaifenesin alone or combined with Dextromethorphan, Phenylephrine, and Acetaminophen. A few products may contain other drugs such as Diphenhydramine, Triprolidine, Oxymetazoline, or Doxylamine (2).

Mucinex is used to relieve cold and flu symptoms such as cough and congestion in the chest or airways. The following table summarizes the composition of some notable Mucinex products (3).

PRODUCT NAMEGUAIFENESINDEXTROMETHORPHANPHENYLEPHRINEACETAMINOPHEN
INDICATED FOR COUGH AND CHEST CONGESTION RELIEF
Mucinex Extended-Release Bi-Layer Tablets600mg
Mucinex DM Extended-Release Bi-Layer Tablets600mg30mg
INDICATED FOR COLD AND FLU
Maximum Strength Fast-Max Severe Congestion & Cough caplets200mg10mg5mg
Maximum Strength Fast-Max Cold, Flu & Sore Throat capsules200mg10mg5mg325mg

Mucinex products may be available in liquid form and in double strength as well. Make sure to check the product label for a complete list of ingredients and their strengths.

Is Mucinex Safe During Pregnancy?

It is important to understand the safety of individual active ingredients of Mucinex to ascertain its safety in pregnancy (4).

1. Guaifenesin

It is an expectorant drug that works by thinning the mucus in the airways to relieve chest congestion. It makes coughing up the phlegm (mucus) easier. You should seek medical advice before using the drug if you have conditions such as asthma, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis (5).

The medicine’s safety is not entirely established since it is not known if the drug crosses the placenta. Some studies note a weak association between maternal Guaifenesin use and neural tube defects (birth defects of the brain or spinal cord) and inguinal hernias in newborns. The FDA categorizes the drug in pregnancy category C, which means either the drug has demonstrated adverse effects in animal studies with no studies among women or there are no studies in animals and women.

The drug should only be had after doctor consultation and may be preferred if the benefits outweigh the risks to the fetus. Guaifenesin should ideally be avoided in the first trimester.

2. Dextromethorphan

The antitussive or cough suppressant medication works by reducing the activity of the part of the brain associated with coughing action (6). It is a pregnancy category C drug, but human studies have not shown any risk of major malformations during pregnancy.

3. Phenylephrine

It decreases the swelling of the blood vessels in the nasal passages. It provides symptomatic relief from nasal congestion (stuffy nose) caused by colds, allergies, hay fever, and sinus pressure (7). This pregnancy category C drug crosses the placenta. Some studies support the association between the use of phenylephrine in the first trimester and endocardial cushion defect (congenital malformation where the walls separating all four chambers of the heart are poorly formed) (8). The drug should be had only after doctor consultation and preferably should be avoided in the first trimester.

4. Acetaminophen

It is a commonly used drug during pregnancy, with 65% of pregnant women using it at some point in pregnancy (4). Acetaminophen crosses the placenta but is not associated with any significant increase in the risk of fetal problems. Some studies associate prenatal and infant exposures to acetaminophen with mid-childhood executive function and behavioral problems, but it needs further research (9). The FDA categorizes the drug as pregnancy category B, which means that animal studies have not demonstrated any risks with no studies among women or animal studies have shown some risks, but it was not confirmed to occur in women.

The majority of the Mucinex products have ingredients whose safety is not established. Hence, it is advisable to avoid Mucinex at least during the first trimester of pregnancy. You should ideally consult your doctor if you wish to use the drug any time during pregnancy.

How Much Mucinex Is Safe During Pregnancy?

Mucinex dosage varies according to its product variant. Two tablets/capsules/caplets or 20ml of liquid every four hours in 24 hours is the general maximum dosing instruction as per the manufacturer. You should talk to your healthcare provider to know the suitable dosage for you during pregnancy.

The following table summarizes the maximum permissible dosage of individual drugs for pregnant women. You may use this table only for reference and not self-medication (10).

ACTIVE INGREDIENTMAXIMUM DOSE IN 24 HOURS
Guaifenesin2400mg
Dextromethorphan120mg
Phenylephrine240mg
Acetaminophen3000mg

When Can You Resume Taking Mucinex?

You may take Mucinex products for a chesty or phlegmy cough during the second and third trimester of pregnancy under medical supervision. However, Guaifenesin-only products seem safer than those with multiple active ingredients later in pregnancy and during breastfeeding (11) (12).

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Mucinex?

Common side effects of Mucinex include (13):

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Sleep problems
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness or irritability

Some serious side effects that need medical attention are:

  • Allergic reactions such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, or throat
  • Mood changes
  • Severe headache
  • Anxiety or a feeling that you might faint

What Are The Pregnancy-Safe Remedies For Cough And Cold?

Non-medication alternatives are often recommended during pregnancy to avoid any fetal risks. You may manage your cough and cold symptoms through the following non-medical interventions (1) (12).

  • Getting ample rest: Take rest often and ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids: Take water, juice, broth, or soup to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Eating well: Nutritious food may accelerate the healing process and improve your immunity.
  • Taking steps for congestion relief: Use a cool-mist humidifier in your room and use pillows to keep your head elevated while sleeping.
  • Alleviating sore throat: Drinking warm tea, honey with lemon, and gargling with warm salt water may help soothe a sore throat.
  • Take vitamins to boost your immunity: Consult a doctor and have vitamin C (1g in the morning and 1g during lunch) for the duration of the flu. You may also take vitamin D 100,000 units if not already taken during the pregnancy.

Cough and cold are common infections and may occur any time during your pregnancy. Flu shots are recommended for pregnant women as well. Inform your healthcare provider about all other medications that you are taking before using Mucinex to avoid drug interactions. You should use OTC medications during pregnancy as little as possible, and if you do, it is advisable to take them under medical guidance.

Key Pointers

  • Mucinex is a drug used to relieve cold and flu, and its safety depends on its variant used since each has different ingredients.
  • The dosage of the Mucinex varies as per trimester. Therefore, you must have the drug only after doctor consultation.
  • Common side effects of Mucinex include drowsiness, nausea, irritability, and sleep problems.

Can Mucinex Cause Miscarriage?

Mucinex is a brand-name over-the-counter medicine that lots of people keep in the cabinet for when they feel congested. It comes in different formulations and strengths, but the main active ingredients are:

  1. Guaifenesin, an expectorant. That’s the technical term for a drug that loosens mucus and makes it easier for you to get rid of it.
  2. Dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant. This drug is there to help ease that constant feeling of needing to cough.

Is Mucinex safe during pregnancy?

If you’re wondering, ‘Can I take Mucinex while pregnant?’ the answer is a little complicated.

The FDA has categories to describe how safe it is to take different medications during pregnancy.

The ingredients above – guaifenesin and dextromethorphan – are both listed as category C.

This means there’s good news and bad news when it comes to the question: ‘Does Mucinex cause birth defects?’

(Note: We prefer the term ‘birth differences’, though. See our #RenamingRevolution Glossary.)

The bad news is that animal trials have shown that category C drugs affect fetal development.

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The good news is that the same effects haven’t been observed in humans.

But, unfortunately, the bottom line is that we simply don’t have enough data to say for sure that the active ingredients in Mucinex are safe for mamas-to-be and their babies.

Often, the verdict on category C medications is this: if the benefit (i.e. finally being able to sleep without coughing yourself awake and/or avoiding a serious chest infection) outweighs the risk, it’s possible that your doctor would prescribe Mucinex during your pregnancy.

So can I take Mucinex while pregnant?

As with all cold and flu medications, it’s important to ask your doctor directly before you take Mucinex during pregnancy.

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This isn’t just because of the category C risk, but also because there are so many different products on pharmacy shelves.

It’s really important to take the correct dose and avoid certain ingredients.

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While the guaifenesin and dextromethorphan in Mucinex are sometimes considered reasonably safe, that’s not the case for the common decongestant (a drug that helps unblock your nose), phenylephrine.

With this medication, there’s more evidence to show that it can cause a higher rate of birth differences, especially if it’s taken during the first trimester.

Your doctor or pharmacist will help you avoid medications that contain this ingredient.

How much Mucinex is safe during pregnancy?

The recommended dose of Mucinex for pregnant women isn’t different from the recommended dose for other adults.

But you might prefer to take the smallest dose you can for the shortest possible time.

Some extra tips when taking cold meds:

  • Mucinex doesn’t help a dry cough or a scratchy throat. If this is your problem, see some of our other tips below.
  • Be careful with max strength versions of cold and flu medications because it can be far easier to take too much of these formulations.
  • Keep an extra eye on medications that contain acetaminophen. Acetaminophen (AKA paracetamol) is generally considered to be one of the safest drugs to take during pregnancy. But if you take two regular pills to treat your headache or fever, and then take a cold remedy that also contains acetaminophen, that’s too much for your liver to handle.

Home remedies for a cough

If your cough is mild and you’re only slightly congested, these home remedies can make a big difference:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and hot tea. Adding some honey and lemon can be extra soothing, and chamomile before bedtime might help you get to sleep.
  • Take a hot shower because the steam will help to loosen the mucus in your lungs.
  • Sleep with a humidifier beside your bed to stop your throat from feeling as sore during the night.
  • Prop your mattress up slightly with rolled towels or pillows so that mucus doesn’t settle in your chest.
  • Do some gentle exercise (if you feel up to it). The fresh air and movement are both helpful. Bonus points if you can get the sun on your face for a little boost of vitamin D.

Get well soon, mama.

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