Can You Take Phenylephrine During Pregnancy?

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By Abby McCoy | Updated on Dec 10, 2023
Image for article Can You Take Phenylephrine During Pregnancy?

Phenylephrine 1 is a decongestant that can clear out the stuffiest of sinuses, but it may not be safe to take during pregnancy.

Phenylephrine causes all of the blood vessels in your body to squeeze tighter. This helps lower the uncomfortable swelling behind your nose and lets you breathe easier. While your clogged sinuses love this effect, your baby doesn’t. 

When phenylephrine makes all your blood vessels constrict, that includes the ones feeding the uterus and umbilical cord, which can leave your baby with less-than-ideal oxygen levels for a long time. Most beefy over-the-counter cold medications have phenylephrine mixed in, so if your sinuses are begging for relief, you can ask your healthcare provider about other decongestant options that are safer for the baby. 

@expectful Questions about navigating cold and flu season with a baby on board? 🤧 We got you! #momwellness #safepregnancy #expectful #faq #healthandwellness #pregnancytok ♬ original sound - expectful

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

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Expectful uses only high-quality sources, including academic research institutions, medical associations, and subject matter experts.

  1. "Omeprazole | Esomeprazole"Sep 1, 2022https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK582884/.


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Abby McCoy
Updated on Dec 10, 2023

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Can You Take Phenylephrine During Pregnancy?

 Abby McCoy Profile Photo
By Abby McCoy | Updated on Dec 10, 2023
Image for article Can You Take Phenylephrine During Pregnancy?

Phenylephrine 1 is a decongestant that can clear out the stuffiest of sinuses, but it may not be safe to take during pregnancy.

Phenylephrine causes all of the blood vessels in your body to squeeze tighter. This helps lower the uncomfortable swelling behind your nose and lets you breathe easier. While your clogged sinuses love this effect, your baby doesn’t. 

When phenylephrine makes all your blood vessels constrict, that includes the ones feeding the uterus and umbilical cord, which can leave your baby with less-than-ideal oxygen levels for a long time. Most beefy over-the-counter cold medications have phenylephrine mixed in, so if your sinuses are begging for relief, you can ask your healthcare provider about other decongestant options that are safer for the baby. 

@expectful Questions about navigating cold and flu season with a baby on board? 🤧 We got you! #momwellness #safepregnancy #expectful #faq #healthandwellness #pregnancytok ♬ original sound - expectful

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

Want evidence-based health & wellness advice for fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum delivered to your inbox?

Your privacy is important to us. By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.

Expectful uses only high-quality sources, including academic research institutions, medical associations, and subject matter experts.

  1. "Omeprazole | Esomeprazole"Sep 1, 2022https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK582884/.


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