Pregnancy is a time of many physical and emotional changes, and women must take particular care to protect their health and the health of their baby. Guaifenesin, an over the counter expectorant and mucus thinner, is a commonly used remedy for colds and other respiratory illnesses. With the importance of being mindful of the potential risks and side effects of medications and supplements during pregnancy, it is natural to wonder whether guaifenesin is safe for pregnant women. In this blog post, we will take a look at the safety of guaifenesin for pregnant women, and provide insight into when it may be necessary to consult with a healthcare provider before taking this medication. We will also discuss potential alternatives for pregnant women who have colds and other respiratory illnesses.
Mother To Baby | Fact Sheets [Internet].
Published online: January 2021.
This fact sheet addresses guaifenesin exposure during pregnancy and breast-feeding. This information shouldn’t replace the treatment you receive from your healthcare providers or their advice.
What is guaifenesin?
I take guaifenesin. Can it make it harder for me to get pregnant? .
Does taking guaifenesin increase the chance for miscarriage?
Does taking guaifenesin increase the chance of birth defects?
Does guaifenesin use during pregnancy increase the risk of developing other pregnancy-related issues?
Does guaifenesin use during pregnancy affect the unborn child’s behavior or ability to learn in the long run?
Breastfeeding while taking guaifenesin:
Could guaifenesin use by a male affect fertility (ability to become pregnant with a partner) or raise the risk of birth defects?
Although they have only been tested in a small number of studies, dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) and guaifenesin (an expectorant, which means it loosens up thick mucus) appear to be safe during pregnancy.
Both Metamucil and stool softeners like Colace seem to be safe during pregnancy to treat constipation. Only use laxatives, mineral oils, and rectal suppositories after consulting your doctor because they may stimulate labor.
Remember that some ambiguous symptoms, such as a headache, which you might not consider concerning in normal circumstances, can occasionally be an indication of a more serious pregnancy-related complication. And consider what other medications you are taking before taking any over-the-counter medicine. Even drugs that are thought to be safe during pregnancy can become risky when they interact with other drugs. If you’re not sure, always check in with your ob-gyn.
Here are some common pregnancy-related issues and a quick rundown of associated medications that are likely safe—and ones that are probably not—to use.
Antacids like Tums and Mylanta seem to be safe during pregnancy, and for the majority of women, they significantly lessen symptoms of heartburn. Talk to your doctor about famotidine (Pepcid), which crosses the placenta but doesn’t seem to be linked to any pregnancy complications, if antacids aren’t sufficient for you. Although ranitidine (Zantac) had previously been thought to be safe for use during pregnancy, the FDA discovered trace amounts of a cancer-causing contaminant in samples of the medication in 2019. As a result, manufacturers voluntarily recalled the medications.
Is Mucinex safe to use during pregnancy?
Guaifenesin, dextromethorphan, and pseudoephedrine are the three active components of Mucinex, Mucinex D, and Mucinex DM. These Mucinex products contain various amounts of these drugs. First, we must examine the safety of these three ingredients in order to comprehend Mucinex safety during pregnancy.
Guaifenesin is an expectorant. By releasing and thinning lung mucus, it aids in the relief of chest congestion symptoms. Coughing up mucus facilitates breathing and opens up the airways.
According to a source in American Academy of Family Physicians, it’s not yet known if guaifenesin is safe to use during pregnancy. Therefore, doctors recommend that you avoid using it during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. It works by affecting the signals in the brain that trigger the cough reflex. According to the same source in American Academy of Family Physicians, dextromethorphan seems to be safe to use during pregnancy. However, this medication should only be used during pregnancy if it’s clearly needed.
Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant. It shrinks blood vessels in your nasal passages, which helps reduce stuffiness in your nose. The American Academy of Family Physicians states that pseudoephedrine could cause certain birth defects during the first trimester of pregnancy. They recommend that you avoid using it during that time.
The strengths of each ingredient in various Mucinex products are listed in the table below.
|Maximum Strength Mucinex||1,200 mg||—-||—-|
|Mucinex DM||600 mg||30 mg||—-|
|Maximum Strength Mucinex DM||1,200 mg||60 mg||—-|
|Mucinex D||600 mg||—-||60 mg|
|Maximum Strength Mucinex D||1,200 mg||—-||120 mg|
All six of the above-mentioned Mucinex formulations contain guaifenesin, so you should refrain from using any of them during your first trimester of pregnancy. However, they may be safe to use during later trimesters. However, before using any Mucinex products at any point during your pregnancy, be sure to consult your doctor.
Can you take guaifenesin if pregnant?
Is Mucinex guaifenesin safe for pregnancy?
Can I take 600 mg of guaifenesin while pregnant?
Why is Mucinex not safe during pregnancy?