What Type of Mucinex Can You Take While Pregnant

Decongestants like Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) can help relieve congestion and blocked sinuses during pregnancy. They work by causing the blood vessels in your nose to constrict, which reduces swelling and mucus production. However, doctors generally don’t recommend using them during pregnancy because they’re associated with health risks like low birth weight and premature birth. For these reasons, your doc is more likely to prescribe Mucinex (guaifenesin) for sinus congestion since it’s considered safer for use during pregnancy than pseudoephedrine.

You can safely take Mucinex (guaifenesin) while pregnant as long as you wait until after the first trimester.

Guaifenesin is a expectorant, which means it works to thin out mucus and make it easier to cough up. It’s safe for use in pregnancy as long as you’re not taking it in the first trimester or during your second trimester.

According to Drugs.com, guaifenesin is “possibly effective” at relieving symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) and acute bronchitis when taken within 24 hours of onset of symptoms. However, they note that there is little evidence supporting the effectiveness of over-the-counter medications like guaifenesin for treating URTI or acute bronchitis unless used in conjunction with other therapies such as antibiotics or steroids

Is mucinex safe during pregnancy?

Mucinex is a safe drug for pregnant women. Because it does not pass through the placenta, there’s no risk of harming your baby if you take it during pregnancy. In addition, mucinex doesn’t build up in breast milk and won’t hurt your baby if ingested by breastfeeding.

The FDA rates Mucinex as a pregnancy category B drug, which means it’s been shown to be safe for use in animals but hasn’t been tested on humans yet.

The FDA rates Mucinex as a pregnancy category B drug, which means it’s been shown to be safe for use in animals but hasn’t been tested on humans yet.

In other words, the FDA has not found any evidence that this drug is harmful to humans or that it’s safe for human consumption. They also don’t have enough data to determine whether these medications should be avoided during pregnancy.

However, several studies suggest that guaifenesin is very unlikely to cause harm during pregnancy.

However, several studies suggest that guaifenesin is very unlikely to cause harm during pregnancy.

A study from 2008 found no evidence of adverse effects on fetal outcomes in women who took guaifenesin containing drugs (Mucinex) during pregnancy. In fact, this study showed that mothers who used Mucinex had a lower rate of preterm labor than those who did not use the drug. In addition, a different 2008 study found no association between Guaifenesin and congenital defects or other birth defects in children born to mothers who took the drug during pregnancy.

It doesn’t pass through the placenta and its metabolites don’t build up in breast milk.

Mucinex-D is safe to take during pregnancy, but only after the first trimester. While it doesn’t pass through your placenta, its metabolites cannot be detected in breast milk.

Mucinex-D can be used to treat congestion associated with sinusitis and respiratory infections. It may also be helpful for treating symptoms of allergies or hay fever (allergic rhinitis).

It’s best to avoid using this drug if you have an allergy or sensitivity to guaifenesin or pseudoephedrine hydrochloride.

Talk to your doctor about what medicine is best for you.

Talk to your doctor about what medicine is best for you.

If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help you decide if this medicine is right for you and if it’s safe to take while pregnant.

Mucinex is considered safe to take during pregnancy when used correctly.

While you should always consult your doctor before taking any medication while pregnant, and especially while breastfeeding, Mucinex is considered safe to take during pregnancy when used correctly.

You should wait until after the first trimester to take any cold or flu remedies in general. During this time period, your body is still adjusting itself to being pregnant, so it’s not a good idea to use anything that could potentially be harmful or cause complications. It’s also important not to take medications that are intended for long-term use unless under the supervision of a medical professional or doctor due to their potential impact on the fetus’ development.

Mucinex tablets can be taken as needed for minor cold symptoms (such as congestion) without fear of harming your baby; however, don’t exceed more than two doses per day because this may lead to excessive drowsiness or dizziness in both you and your unborn child.


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If you’ve ever considered taking medicine while pregnant — or you’ve had the TV on long enough to hear the commercial line “tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding” — you’ll know there’s a giant disclaimer that comes with taking anything during pregnancy. Despite the big caveat and lack of medical research on pregnant people, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nine in 10 women will take at least one medicine during pregnancy. 

With allergy season approaching, and COVID-19 still here, many people are reaching for over-the-counter medication in the hopes of relieving congestion or getting through a cough. What about one of the most popular ones, Mucinex?

Mucinex is a brand of over-the-counter cold and flu medication, with products for cough and chest congestion, sinus congestion and more.

For Dr. Gloria Bachmann, an OB-GYN and the director of the Women’s Health Institute at Rutgers University, the rule to follow is the same one she advises all pregnant people stick to, no matter the health concern or question: check with your doctor (or midwife, practitioner or other care provider). This is important not only before you consume a new medication, according to Bachmann, but also to make sure you don’t write off a more serious illness as a common cold, allergies or even a mild case of COVID-19. 

“You always have to weigh the risk versus the benefit,” Bachmann says. “Don’t dismiss it.” 

Read more: 14 Doctor-Recommended OTC Medications You Should Have on Hand

Talk to your health care provider before taking any medication during pregnancy.Adam Hester/Getty Images

Is Mucinex safe during pregnancy?

There are a few different kinds of Mucinex (Mucinex, Mucinex D and Mucinex DM, for example) but some of the most common popular products contain guaifenesinpseudoephedrine and dextromethorphan

Pseudoephedrine is a common decongestant, found in Mucinex products such as Mucinex D, that works by narrowing the blood vessels in the nasal passages. And it’s also one ingredient the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommends against during the first trimester due to a small risk of birth defects in the abdominal wall.

Determining the risk of the other active ingredients found in Mucinex is a little trickier. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant that works by interfering with the “cough” signal in your brain. Guaifenesin works by loosening the mucus in your chest. There are some reports of a small risk of neural tube defects linked to guaifenesin, but the evidence is inconclusive. It’s listed in a report by the American Academy of Family Physicians as “might be unsafe during first trimester.” In the same report, dextromethorphan is listed as “appears to be safe in pregnancy,” but as is true for many drugs and ingredients, there isn’t enough evidence to say conclusively either way.

Read more: Pregnancy Timeline: What Happens Each Month and Trimester

Mucinex may also contain acetaminophen, a really common pain reliever and fever reducer, which may be recommended to pregnant people but can also be harmful in large amounts.

Bottom line: Ask your health care provider before taking Mucinex or any cough medicine during pregnancy, so the two of you can weigh the severity of your symptoms with the potential risks (if any) of medication. 

As Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer wrote in a post for UT Southwestern Medical Center, avoid medication formulated for multiple symptoms during pregnancy, as they can contain unnecessary amounts of acetaminophen. Also, she writes, natural cough remedies like a spoonful of honey can be just as effective (or more effective) than medication.

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Will taking Mucinex help me get pregnant? 

Videos and posts of people taking Mucinex while trying to conceive have been spreading on platforms like TikTok. But while there are some anecdotal reports of fertility going up while taking Mucinex (specifically, Mucinex that contains guaifenesin), there isn’t sufficient evidence to say it aids conception.

The reason some people think it might is because of guaifenesin’s way of loosening the mucus in the respiratory tract. If it can thin and loosen that mucus, the hope is that it’ll also loosen cervical mucus, which is naturally thin and accommodating during ovulation, or the “fertile window” of a menstrual cycle, to help sperm swim up to the egg. 

But the cervical fluid associated with conception is from estrogen, which the body produces around ovulation when there is an egg available to be fertilized, Bachmann says. Meaning, you could have more fluid cervical mucus, but that won’t change anything if there isn’t an egg. 

If you’re trying to conceive, Bachmann recommends first making sure you’re ovulating and tracking when it happens by measuring your basal body temperature or using an ovulation predictor kit.

“If I were going to spend my money, I’d spend it on an ovulation kit,” she says.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

What Can I Take For Mucus While Pregnant

Congestion and Allergy Symptoms

For congestion issues, antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and loratidine (Claritin) appear to be safe during pregnancy. Avoid pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), since it may be associated with birth defects involving baby’s abdominal wall. Also, decongestants (such as phenylephrine) may affect blood flow to the placenta and should generally be avoided throughout your pregnancy.



Two major cough medication ingredients—dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) and guaifenesin (an expectorant, which means it loosens up thick mucus)—both appear to be safe during pregnancy, although both have been tested in relatively few studies.


To help ease constipation, both Metamucil and stool softeners like Colace appear to be safe in pregnancy. Laxatives, mineral oils and rectal suppositories may stimulate labor, so these should only be used after speaking with your doctor.


Antacids such as Tums and Mylanta appear to be safe in pregnancy, and for most women, they significantly improve heartburn symptoms. If antacids aren’t enough though, talk to your doctor about famotidine (Pepcid), which crosses the placenta but doesn’t appear to be associated with any pregnancy complications. While ranitidine (Zantac) had previously been considered safe during pregnancy, in 2019 the FDA detected low levels of a cancer-causing contaminant in samples of the drug, and manufacturers have voluntarily recalled the medicines.

All this said, there are situations where the potential benefit of taking a medication outweighs any potential risk to baby. The most important piece of advice regarding medication is to talk with your doctor!

Can You Take Mucinex While Pregnant Third Trimester

From a cup of coffee to a box of hair dye, pregnant women tend to second-guess everything they might put in, on or even close to their body. The instinct to protect your growing baby can cause a pregnant woman a lot of confusion, but this caution is all for a good reason, especially when it comes to taking over-the-counter medications such as Mucinex. The popular cough and cold medicine might be your usual go-to when you need to relieve congestion, sinus pressure, a sore throat or other symptoms, but think twice about taking Mucinex (in any version) during pregnancy, especially if you’re still in your first trimester.

General Advice About Taking Mucinex During Pregnancy

No drug can be considered 100 percent safe during pregnancy, and as a general rule, you should always consult with your doctor before taking any OTC medications. If your doctor gives you the go-ahead to take Mucinex—which they are only likely to do after you’re out of your first trimester—you still should educate yourself about the medicine and thoughtfully weigh its potential risks against your need for relief of your symptoms. Doctors agree that pregnant women should take medications only when symptoms are severe and non-medicinal alternatives are not enough, and then only for a limited amount of time.

Resources for your journey…

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Is Mucinex Safe to Take During Pregnancy?

Mucinex, Mucinex D and Mucinex DM are advertised to treat the following cough and cold symptoms: chest congestion, cough, sinus pressure, stuffy nose, runny nose, sore throat, fever, headache and sneezing. Three active ingredients present in the three types of Mucinex help to relieve those symptoms: Guaifenesin, an expectorant; Dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant; and Pseudoephedrine, a decongestant. All three of these drugs have been graded Class C under the FDA’s Pregnancy Risk Category system.

Class C drugs are those for which no adequate and well-controlled studies have been conducted, leaving the medical establishment unable to thoroughly assess their risk. It does not mean that these drugs are harmful, only that, due to a lack of scientific study, it’s impossible to rule out the potential for harm. According to the FDA, “potential benefits (of Class C drugs) may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.”

The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that pregnant women avoid taking Class C medicines, specifically those present in Mucinex, during their first trimester. During the second and third trimester, they say that Mucinex can generally be considered safe, but for pregnant women to use it only when they feel it’s absolutely necessary.

When to Consult Your Doctor

Pregnant women should always consult a medical professional before taking any over-the-counter medications, including Mucinex. Beyond simply asking about the safety of Mucinex, a phone call with your doctor gives you the chance to discuss your symptoms, their severity and how long you’ve been unwell. Your doctor might recommend alternative medications or treatments that she feels would be more beneficial. Additionally, she can assess whether your symptoms are severe enough to warrant an in-person appointment or more urgent medical attention. Even if you choose not to consult your doctor about a cough or cold, you certainly should do so if you don’t feel better within a week, have a fever over 102 degrees F or experience chest pain.

Mucinex Advice and Warnings

If you do choose to take Mucinex after consulting a health care professional, it’s essential to read and follow the instructions on the box of the particular Mucinex product you’re taking. There are more than 30 different Mucinex products, including tablets, liquids and liquid gel caplets, and safe dosages vary considerably from one product to the next. Don’t rely on remembering how many Mucinex pills you’ve taken in the past, as you might have purchased a different formula with different dosage recommendations. If you’re taking a liquid form of Mucinex, use the dosage cup provided.

Know that some (but not all) types of Mucinex contain acetaminophen (Tylenol). You should not take other medicines containing acetaminophen in addition to Mucinex containing acetaminophen.

Alternatives to Mucinex

The most obvious alternative to taking Mucinex while suffering from cough and cold symptoms is simply to “tough it out,” rest a lot, keep well hydrated and wait for the virus to run its course. There are, however, some non-medicinal remedies that might help. These include:

  • Saline nasal sprays for a dry, stuffy nose
  • Decongestant products such as Vicks for relieving congestion and sinus pressure
  • Herbal teas or hot water with honey and lemon to ease a sore throat
  • Throat lozenges and hard candies
  • Using a humidifier
  • Sleeping with your head propped up on extra pillows

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