If you have a cold it is most likely that you will reach out for some mucinex. But, is it safe really safe to consume during pregnancy? What are the side effects? And, will your baby be harmed? Read on to know more details about the drug use during pregnancy.
Mucinex While Pregnant – Is it Safe?
Mucinex is an over-the-counter medicine that provides relief from nasal and chest congestion. It also works as a cough suppressant. Most people take this drug to treat common cold, allergies, or common irritations occurring on a yearly basis. Basically, Mucinex works by thinning the mucus, root cause for that horrible “blocked up” feeling when you are not well, in the air passages.
For pregnant women, the topic of medication is often debatable as many medications are usually considered unsafe to take while pregnant. In addition, it is recommended to try to avoid medications during the initial stages of pregnancy.
However, if you experience severe symptoms, there are some medications that are considered relatively safe for use while pregnant and can be taken with due advice from your care provider or doctor. Even then, you should only use them when necessary and in short durations. But, always practice caution when taking any medication, especially during pregnancy.
Is it Safe to take Mucinex when Pregnant?
Mucinex is not recommended during the first trimester of pregnancy for the potential risks to the growing fetus. However, it is completely safe for use as an anti-congestion medication after that. But, it is definitely important to consult your midwife or doctor before taking this medicine, if in case you experience any underlying medical conditions that can be a cause for any type of side effects to the baby.
Contrastingly, while Mucinex or Mucinex D is considered safe for use in pregnancy, Mucinex DM should not be used until after 16 weeks of pregnancy.
FDA Pregnancy Category for Mucinex
Even though Mucinex is considered safe for use during pregnancy, the risk of complications cannot be overlooked in the pregnancy FDA category. Mucinex has been placed in pregnancy category C. by the FDA
As per a study conducted on animals, the ingredients from the drug can cross the placenta and pose adverse effects on the fetus. Although there is no strong evidence to support this but do keep this in mind when making the decision to take Mucinex during pregnancy. It is only recommended for use during pregnancy when the benefit is larger than the risk.
Risks of Mucinex during Pregnancy
Mucinex during First Trimester
Even though doctors recommend that Mucinex should not be taken during the first trimester, a recent study revealed that there are no serious harms to doing so. Out if 197 women who were given this drug during the first trimester, 14 of these had babies born with congenital malformations. No different from what would usually be expected.
The risks associated with taking Mucinex during pregnancy are:
Neural Tube Defects
As per certain studies conducted on use of Mucinex during pregnancy, there is a possibly increased risk of the baby to have neural tube defects (NTD) or inguinal hernias if you take Mucinex regularly throughout your pregnancy period.
Other Birth Defects
As per another study conducted with pregnant mothers, it showed some interesting results. During this study, 141 women were given oral Mucinex during the first trimester and 349 took it later in their pregnancies. For those who took the medicine in their first trimester, there were nine birth defects, including heart problems. However, this result was zero with those who took the medication later in pregnancy.
There are certain things that need to be considered before taking Mucinex during pregnancy. These include:
- Avoid taking this medicine if you are allergic to any of the ingredients present in Guaifenesin (Mucinex).
- Inform your doctor about your pregnancy or if you are planning to become pregnant when taking this medication. They will be able to provide you the best advice depending upon your personal situation and health condition.
- If you experience any side effects when taking this medicine, stop the use immediately to avoid any serious consequences during pregnancy. These side effects include:
- A rash
- Stomach ache, vomiting, or nausea
If you suffer from any of these side effects to the extreme, it is recommended to seek medical attention without any delay and cease the use of this drug as the initial step to stay safe and avoid serious consequences.