Taking Theraflu While Pregnant: What You Should Know

Can You Take Theraflu While Pregnant? Here’s What You Should Know

Staying healthy is one of the top priorities of an expectant mother. Expectant mothers often have to make many decisions in a short time as they prepare for their new baby. One of these decisions includes what they can and should put into their bodies if they get sick.  Many products claim to support the health of expectant mothers, but few can provide visible benefits to new moms. Knowing what is safe for both mother and baby can make the difference between a healthy pregnancy or experiencing unforeseen complications.

Are you wondering if you can take Theraflu during your pregnancy? Products like Theraflu are combination medications, and it is best if expectant mothers steer clear of them.

Here are some reasons why medications such as Theraflu must be avoided, how they can affect the fetus, and safer alternatives you can use to keep you healthy.

Table of Contents

How Theraflu Works

Theraflu is a medication many rely on to fight the common cold and flu symptoms. It comes in forms such as liquid, caplets, and powders. Theraflu is a histamine blocker, a chemical your body produces in response to allergens. You can experience relief from symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, and more. 

While some people think that Theraflu can reduce the amount of time they’re sick, its primary purpose is to help bring relief from the symptoms that make you miserable.

Theraflu can also help you experience some relief because of its ingredients. It is a 3-in-1 combination medication with pain relievers, fever reducers, and nasal decongestants to combat various symptoms. The active medicines in Theraflu include, 

Each medication is responsible for fighting various symptoms, and the combination makes Theraflu a staple in many homes.

How Cold and Flu Affect Pregnant Women

Getting the flu can be a miserable experience. The fever, body aches, chills, congestion, and other symptoms can be enough to make even the toughest person stay in bed for several days. Also, the flu can be dangerous, especially for pregnant women. For some people, the flu increases the risk of developing life-threatening complications such as pneumonia. 

Pregnant women are at higher risk of experiencing severe difficulties from the flu than others. According to the CDC, pregnancy can cause your immune system to change and suppress it, making you more susceptible to contracting the flu. If you’re pregnant and then contract the flu, it could lead to hospitalization.

How The Flu Affects a Fetus

Getting the flu during pregnancy can have adverse effects on the fetus. For instance, if the mother contracts the flu and passes it to the fetus, there is a chance of it developing a fever. If this happens, it can cause neural tube defects in the fetus or premature birth.

Treating the Flu During Pregnancy

Although getting the flu during pregnancy can be dangerous, there are safe ways to treat the illness. The first step in treatment is to reach out to your healthcare provider immediately. Your doctor can provide a strategy to help treat your symptoms. A crucial tool your doctor might use is antiviral medications.

 Antiviral medications work best as a quick intervention, so the sooner you report your symptoms to your doctor, the better the chance antiviral medications have of working.

When is Theraflu Safe to Take?

Theraflu can be a helpful tool for those who’ve gotten the flu. But, pregnant women must give it time before attempting to retake the medication. Many doctors recommend waiting at least two weeks postpartum before trying to take Theraflu, but most healthcare experts strongly advise against taking the drug while nursing. 

Nursing mothers must exercise caution when considering taking Theraflu. For example, some experts recommend waiting until two hours after breastfeeding before taking a dose of Theraflu, as it can find its way into the milk supply. Other doctors recommend waiting until nighttime to take a dose when your newborn may be more likely to skip a feeding. 

Although most babies can tolerate acetaminophen, it can adversely affect the health of your newborn and cause unwanted side effects if your baby receives too much of it. Since measuring the amount of acetaminophen your baby receives from breast milk is difficult, many doctors recommend avoiding the product altogether as a safety measure.

Also, the other ingredients in Theraflu, such as Dextromethorphan and Phenylephrine, may cause your baby to become drowsy and irritable after nursing. Some mothers also report fluctuations in their milk supply after taking Theraflu. 

Although not many studies link the correlation between Theraflu and breast milk supply, it is best to exercise caution and consult your physician for advice on the matter.

Alternative Flu Treatment Methods

While Theraflu can help give you some relief from your flu symptoms, avoiding the medication during your pregnancy may be the safest course of action. Not being able to use a helpful medication can be frustrating, but you still have plenty of options to manage the flu. The first step in addressing the flu during pregnancy is to consult your doctor if you experience symptoms. Your doctor can help you find safe treatment options for both you and your baby as you recover. 

If your doctor recommends that you completely stay away from medications during your pregnancy, plenty of natural remedies may bring some relief. Some strategies you can try include

  • Taking a steaming shower to relieve congestion
  • Staying hydrated
  • Drinking decaffeinated teas (With Ginger, Honey, and Lemon)
  • Getting rest whenever possible

Preventing the Flu

Getting the flu can be debilitating, especially during pregnancy. Avoiding the flu and taking measures to protect yourself is crucial. Most experts advise expectant mothers to get their flu shot as a preventative measure. 

Although the flu shot is safe for pregnant women, some remain hesitant and would rather take other protective measures. If you don’t want to take the flu shot but want to avoid the flu, you can protect yourself by

  • Washing your hands frequently
  • Avoiding large crowds during flu season
  • Limiting physical contact
  • Not Sharing utensils
  • Avoiding touching your hands, eyes, and mouth

Expecting a baby can be exciting and nerve-wracking as you do your best to stay healthy.  Theraflu can be helpful for those who contract the flu, but it may do you and your baby more harm than good. Protecting yourself from the flu as best you can and following your doctor’s advice if you get it is your best bet to keeping you and your baby in good health.

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