The Hippocratic Oath takes on a much greater meaning for a pregnant woman: “I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.”
Most people mistakenly assume it says, “First, do no harm,” but whichever way a patient wishes to take it, the pregnant patient is thinking not of herself, but of her baby. Sinus medicine may relieve the woman’s symptoms, but at what cost to the baby?
No Such Thing as a Safe Medication List
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cautions that pregnant women seeking sinus relief should first consult their doctors, because many medicines in online “safe medication lists” could have unknown side effects on fetuses.
The CDC states, “A conversation with a healthcare provider can help ensure that you are taking only what is necessary.” The trained professionals at the American Sinus Institute can work with a pregnant patient to find the minimal medication needed to provide sinus relief.
Sinus Medicine Alternatives
Consumer Reports suggests that pregnant women consider non-drug solutions to issues like sinus headache and sinus pressure. Getting rest, increasing fluids and having chicken soup can relieve sinus pressure and headaches. Other recommendations:
- Avoid combination products, such as multi-symptom cold or allergy medicines that may combine safe acetaminophen with potentially unsafe phenylephrine
- Read labels—Alcohol and caffeine (both not recommended for pregnant women) can appear in over-the-counter medications
- Talk to a doctor—Expectant mothers should consult an ENT specialist, Ob/Gyn, or family doctor about sinus medicine pregnant patients can safely take
Another excellent alternative to medication for sinusitis, say the experts at The Bump, is a vaporizer. Especially in combination with doctor-prescribed Augmentin, which is used in chronic sinusitis treatment even with pregnant women, such complementary treatments can bring relief.
Keep Them From Harm
Pregnant women must think first of their babies before themselves, so preventing sinus headaches and sinusitis in the first place helps avoid struggles with medications.
Especially important in prevention is monitoring indoor air quality for proper humidity levels and minimal allergens. Keeping indoor air between 35 percent and 50 percent humidified can prevent sinusitis, while regular monthly air conditioning air filter changes can reduce pollen and other allergens.
Sinus issues increase during pregnancy because blood vessels in the nose swell with the hormonal changes. Saline nose drops are always safe, as they have no medicine to interfere with the baby, and can provide relief from the stuffy nose and breathing difficulties the swollen nasal passage causes.
If a pregnant woman has allergy-related sinusitis, the CDC notes that many antihistamines are not linked to birth defects. The pregnant woman is advised to consult her ENT specialist or Ob/Gyn, but specific medications that appear to be safe include:
- diphenhydramine (Benadryl®)
- loratadine (Claritin®)
- cetirizine (Zyrtec ®)
The specialists at the American Sinus Institute can help pregnant patients to find a safe, effective course of treatment for acute or chronic sinusitis. Treatment may include balloon sinuplasty to relieve sinus pain symptoms. Contact the experts at American Sinus Institute today to schedule an appointment today.