Allergic rhinitis and pregnancy

The symptoms of allergic rhinitis may be worse if you are pregnant. Although you and your unborn baby (fetus) are not in danger, allergic rhinitis can lead to a worsening of asthma and sinusitis. It is important to discuss this with your doctor, as some medicines might be better for you and your baby than others.

  • If possible, do not use medicines during the first 3 months of your pregnancy. If you feel you need the medicine, talk to your doctor.
  • To treat nasal congestion, try using a saline spray or raising the head of your bed.

The U.S. National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) recommends the following for allergies during pregnancy:1

  • Inhaled corticosteroids at recommended doses are effective and can be used by pregnant women.
  • The antihistamines loratadine or cetirizine are recommended.
  • If you are already taking allergy shots, you may continue getting them, but starting allergy shots during pregnancy is not recommended.
  • Talk to your doctor about using decongestants you take by mouth (oral decongestants). There may be better treatment options.

Citations

  1. National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (2005). Quick Reference From the Working Group Report on Managing Asthma During Pregnancy: Recommendations for Pharmacologic Treatment Update 2004 (NIH Publication No. 05-5246). Available online: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/lung/asthma/astpreg_qr.htm.

Last Updated: July 2, 2009

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