When your pregnancy began then everything you thought you knew about over the counter medicine seemed to go out the window, no? Things that you could take without though to cure a fever, headache, or to help a cold are now, largely, off-limits. So can you take mucinex while pregnant? What about when you are breastfeeding? In this article we’ll talk about what taking mucinex during your pregnancy might mean in regards to yours and your baby’s safety. Let’s discuss!
Can pregnant women take Mucinex?
The answer to this question is yes… and no. There are some factors to consider, you see. it’s going to come down to the individual ingredients. This means that we need to give you an active breakdown on the components so that you can make a more informed decision as to whether or not you should take Mucinex during your pregnancy or when you are breastfeeding.
Is Mucinex safe to take during pregnancy? Let’s see the ingredients!
Mucinex has 3 main active components that need a little explanation so that you can understand their functions better to see if you feel comfortable taking mucinex while pregnant. These ingredients are as follows:
- Pseudoephedrine – Psuedoephedrine is a bronchial dialator and it is present in Mucinex to act as act as a decongestant. It helps you to breathe easier by shrinking the blood vessels in your nasal passages and has a mild stimulant-type effect. Psuedoephedrine also comes with a warning that you should not take it during your first trimester, as this has been linked to birth defects!
- Guaifenesin – An expectorant (it makes your coughs more productive, loosening up that phlegm), Guaifenesin is there to help you breathe more easily by getting all that nasty cold-gunk out. So is it safe to take while you are pregnant? We simply do not have enough studies to say definittively and so doctors recommend avoiding it through your first trimester.
- Dextromethorphan – Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant and according to the American Academy of Family Physicians it should be safe. It works by minimizing your cough reflex through manipulation of those signals when they are sent to your brain. While it is deemed safe, we would still recommend only using it when absolutely required.
So, Is Mucinex safe for taking during my
pregnancy or not?
Mucinex is generally considered safe to take during your pregnancy if you are not in your first trimester. That said, we do recommend checking with your physician beforehand due to the pseudoephedrine and guaifenesin content. Also, there is another consideration.
Not all Mucinex is the same
Mucinex comes in a few different varieties, with some having a higher content of the active ingredients than others. For instance, Mucinex DM and Mucinex Maximum strength DM have higher contents of Guiafenesin. Whereas Mucinex D and Mucinex Maximum strength D have higher contents of pseudoephedrine. This is another reason that we urge you check with your physician first to see what brand is going to be the best for you if you don’t want to risk comparison checking on the boxes.
What about for breastfeeding?
With breastfeeding it is a little more complicated. While pseudoephedrine is considered relatively safe some studies have indicated that it might make you produce less breast milk and other studies have shown that pseudoephedrine taken while breastfeeding can pass to your baby, making them fussier than usual. Guaifenesin is claimed as being
” Pseudoephedrine taken while breastfeeding can pass to your baby.”
safe per a few studies but we simply do not have enough data to draw a conclusion, unfortunately. Dextromethorphan has been deemed safe and a number of cough and cold medications have this, so it might simply be better to go with a solution that only offers dextromethorphan.
Other over the counter medications that you can take
As far as over the counter medications that are generally considered to be safe you have a few choices. Acetamininphen (such as found in Tylenol) is a pain reliever that you can use. You can also use chlorpheniramine, such as found in Chlor Trimeton as an antihistamine Dextromethorphan, as previously mentioned, is okay as a cough suppressant as well but beyond this you will want to check with your physician. Currently your body is going through a number of changes and as anything you ingest your baby is ingesting to… well, it just pays to play it safe. Whereas before you could take things like ibuprofen (Advil), aspirin, or even Naproxen (Aleve) many of these drugs are now going to be off limits (or off limits during particular trimesters), so when in doubt be sure to ASK.
A few home remedies for colds when you are pregnant
There are a few home remedies that you can use that are helpful. Some great examples are:
- Honey and Lemon Juice – A great homemade cough syrup, give this a try next time you have a cough and want to avoid medication. The honey coats your throat while the lemon juice deals with that pesky bacteria!
- Mint tea – Great for sinuses, mint can help to clear up your nose a little while the tea suffuses you with warmth.
- Ginger root tea – Ginger slices boiled with honey for about 10 minutes and left to sit for another 5 minutes will produce ginger root tea. This is a great Asian cure for sore throat and cough and after you’ve tried it then it will be your go-to cure for years to come.
In this article we have discussed the pros and cons of taking Mucinex during your pregnancy or when you are breastfeeding. While considered generally safe, we do urge you to run it by your physician during your next appointment so that you now in advance if you can take it. Pregnancy has made many changes to your body and what worked safely before might be dangerous now, so it just makes good sense to double check before taking anything. We hope that you feel better soon!