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Safe medications & remedies

Below is a list of over-the-counter medications and home remedies for several common ailments. These have been approved by Gundersen providers, and are safe for you and your baby during pregnancy. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your provider via telephone or MyCare.

Common cold

You should increase your water intake. If you experience a sore throat, try using a numbing spray (Chloraseptic®) or a lozenge. You can also gargle with warm salt water. For a fever you can take acetaminophen, as needed. Follow the dosing guide on the label. If you have a cough you can try Robitussin or Robitussin DM. For congestion and other cold symptoms, use a room vaporizer. You may use sodium chloride nasal spray or Zyrtec® if an over-the-counter medication is desired.

Diarrhea and/or flu

Drink clear liquids for 24-48 hours (ice chips, soft drinks, sports drinks, tea, soup or broth). Do not drink milk or eat solid food. After 24-48 hours, start to eat toast, crackers, baked potatoes, boiled eggs, rice and cooked cereal. After diarrhea stops, add milk and meats last.

Call for an appointment within 24 hours if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Cannot empty your bladder or keep fluids down
  • Feel faint or dizzy
  • Fever of 101° F or higher
  • Bloody stools
  • More than 10 stools in one day
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • You do not start to get better after 24 hours

Headaches

Acetaminophen can be taken, as needed, while you are pregnant. Take ibuprofen now and then, as needed, until week 32. Stop taking it two months before your due date. Follow the dosing guide on the label.

Heartburn

You can take antacids such as Tums®, Rolaids®, Maalox®, etc. These are helpful and safe when taken less than five times per day. Zantac® (75 mg twice daily) can also relieve heartburn, but you should try antacids first.

Nausea

Some over-the-counter medicines may ease nausea. Always tell your provider about the medications you are taking and take no more than directed. Below are options you could try:

  • Vitamin B6 – Take a 50 mg tablet three times a day. It may take two weeks for symptoms to improve.
  • Diphenhydramine (Unisom®, Benadryl®) – Take one tablet at bedtime.
  • Meclizine (Bonine®) – Take a 12.5 mg tablet three times a day.
  • Ranitidine (Zantac®) – If you have a history of gastritis/ulcers, take one 75 mg tablet two times a day.
  • Doxylamine (Unisom Night-Time Sleep Aid®) – Read the label to make sure doxylamine is an active ingredient. Take one tablet at bedtime.
  • QueaseEASE – This aromatic blend of essential oils is inhaled. Keep it with you all day and use it as soon as those uncomfortable feelings occur.

Rash with itching

Soothe skin with calamine lotion or cool, damp cloths. Think about whether you changed bath, laundry or dish soap in recent days. Call for an appointment within 24 hours if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Rash is all over your body or on your face
  • Itching is moderate to severe
  • You do not know what caused the rash
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Rash bumps seep fluid
  • Fever of 101°F or higher
Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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