thinking of going back on allergy meds

Discussion in 'Pregnancy - Second Trimester' started by erikab922, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. erikab922

    erikab922 Well-Known Member

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    Hi ladies, I'd like to hear from anyone who has taken allergy medicine throughout their previous pregnancies or have had advice from their doctor about taking it during this pregnancy.

    I was on allergy medicine until a week ago when my GP asked me to stop taking it because he said it crosses the placenta and should only be taken when the risk to the mother outweighs the risk to the baby. Totally understand where he's coming from.

    However (you knew there was a 'however') since I've been off the allergy meds, I've been beside myself with itchy skin all over - I feel like I have bugs crawling all over me and all I do all day is scratch. This is one of the things that my allergy medicine eliminated. I also sneeze ALL day and every time I do so my bump cramps up and I feel a stabbing pain.

    So technically neither of these things are life-threatening but it's only been a week and I don't know if I can keep it up past birth and breastfeeding. I've probably scratched my skin 40 times writing this message!

    I'm considering going on an allergy medicine for a few days to see if I get relief and if I do I may beg my GP to let me back on them. I can always get some from Boots but I'd rather my GP gave me the OK.

    Any taking/took allergy meds during pregnancy?
     
  2. bananaz

    bananaz Well-Known Member

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    What allergy med were you on? Maybe there's a safer alternative?

    I was on Allegra (class C) but switched to Claritin (class B) when I found out I was pregnant. I've been taking it as needed and my doctor doesn't seem concerned about it...
     
  3. erikab922

    erikab922 Well-Known Member

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    I was on fexofenadine (Allegra in the States) so I went to talk to the (pregnant!) pharmacist and she said a lot of pregnant ladies are prescribed Piriton so I switched to that, and then found that was Class C as well. So I made an appointment for the GP to discuss cetirizine (Zyrtec) or loratidine (Claritin) - both Class B - but he wouldn't give me a prescription. TBH out of the three doctors at the practice he's the youngest and does everything literally 'by the book' whereas the other two I think would rely more on experience as well.

    You can get generic cetirizine and loratidine at Boots but if it's not prescription then you have to pay for it (pregnant ladies get free prescriptions on the NHS). I am thinking of making another appointment and asking to see the lady doctor there because she's really good.
     
  4. Siuan

    Siuan Well-Known Member

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    I've been taking cetirizine throughout this pregnancy. I took advice from my GP and from the pharmacist before doing so. My GP basically said, it's not ethical to test the effects of cetirizine on on an unborn baby (well duh!) and he simply said does the risk of taking it outweigh the risk to your baby. That was something he left me to answer for myself.

    As I was unable to find any research to confirm that cetirizine has been linked to birth defects, I have continued to take it since day 1. I have cut down, I only take one every other day (or when I need it) rather than once a day and my 20 week scan showed that baby is healthy in every way.

    I wouldn't hesitate to do the same again. In my opinion - the lack of evidence that it affects the baby and the fact that it avoids me scratching like a lunatic and avoids the hives coming up everywhere means it is worth the miniscule risk...

    Thankfully in the UK you can buy cetirizine over the counter and in Tesco they do boxes of 14 for less than a pound. That keeps me going for weeks if I buy five boxes at once (they're not restricted) so it's easier for me to do that than get a prescription for it (even if it is free!!)
     
  5. amjon

    amjon Guest

    I have taken Zyrtec once a day through the whole pregnancy. If I don't I get sinus infections/ bronchitis that are worse for the baby. Zyrtec was safe.
     
  6. erikab922

    erikab922 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you and that is an excellent point about not being restricted like you are with painkillers, I hadn't thought of that. It's the itching skin that's driving me crazy, I was actually in Tesco Saturday morning and had to go to the customer toilets twice while I was there to take off my coat and shirt to scratch all over. I will try once every other day and see how I go with that.

    Thank you all SO much for getting back to me, that doc made me feel about two inches tall for even asking to get on a safer allergy med.
     
  7. bananaz

    bananaz Well-Known Member

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    I'd have to think the stress on you from being so miserable would be worse for baby than allergy meds that by all indications are perfectly safe. Class B is about as good as it gets for most types of drugs since controlled experimental studies on pregnant women aren't really ethical. I would be a total wreck if I couldn't use Claritin when I need it!
     
  8. erikab922

    erikab922 Well-Known Member

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    Aw man I love this site, don't know what I'd do without you guys!
     
  9. LilianA

    LilianA Well-Known Member

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    my doctor told me on her own with out me even asking, she said if you want you can take Zyrtec its safe to take! :) so I've been taking it when needed
     
  10. Siuan

    Siuan Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, mine is a skin itching too. The doctor's will not help me with working out what's causing it. Though I'm pretty certain it is the cats that are doing it to be honest. Since the cats stay (no way I'm getting rid of them for a silly skin allergy) I have to put up with the Cetirizine taking.

    I get this really annoying itch that I can't ignore and then when I scratch, it makes the skin go bumpy and I end up with big red splodges like hives all over. I get it everywhere except my face. Particularly on my hands, feet, back and backside! It drives me mental, but one tablet every other day keeps me sane!
     
  11. erikab922

    erikab922 Well-Known Member

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    This has to be a sign - I told my fiance a few minutes ago that I needed to go get some allergy meds tomorrow and asked if he needed anything. He said 'didn't we get a huge bottle of allergy stuff when we were in the States over the summer?' He was right, I totally forgot that we got a bottle of 365 cetirizine (Zyrtec) tablets at Costco when we went to see my mom - I found them in the cupboard and am sitting here awaiting blessed relief as we speak/type!
     
  12. Siuan

    Siuan Well-Known Member

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    This forum needs a "like" button :) I'm going to be taking one of my tablets this evening too - I can feel my skin starting to crawl like I'm about to get an itching attack!
     
  13. erikab922

    erikab922 Well-Known Member

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    I know, it's crazy! I've seen those medical shows where drug addicts go cold turkey and their skin gets all creepy-crawly and I totally know how they feel. I'm having to wear my hair in a ponytail all the time because just feeling it on my neck sets me off.
     
  14. Apres

    Apres Well-Known Member

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    If I spend more than 24 hours without my Zyrtec I start sneezing non stop by 36 hours I'm itching all over and get rashes. My Dr. told me there was no problem taking it. I take one every night.
     
  15. erikab922

    erikab922 Well-Known Member

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    I think it's cool in that 'misery loves company' kind of way that this is exactly what's happening to me. I have year-round, allergic to everything allergies but no one else I know has allergies apart from my sister and it's really hard to explain about the constant sneezing and all-over itching. You start to think it's all in your head!
     
  16. alette

    alette Mommy to 1 little girl!

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    I went off allergy meds as soon as I got my BFP and was MISERABLE until my first doctors appointment at 6 weeks. I asked about allergy meds and he said both benadryl and claritin are fine to take. He actually prescribed another medication as a sleep aid, but it is just benadryl under another name! I haven't needed any help getting to sleep so far this pregnancy though. I can sleep like a rock!
     
  17. pixiepower

    pixiepower Well-Known Member

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    going to hold my hand up here, I've been taking cetirizine all through my pregnancy, i tried going without at the beginning and it was impossible. I dont have itching as such, but I get what may as well be a heavy head cold, every day of my life! With my first breath in the morning I start sneezing and it goes on aggravated by dust and cleaning products to deodrants and perfumes blah blah, to the point i want to scratch the top of my mouth and the back of my throat out!!
    so I'm sorry but there was no way i could go without, the cetirizine doesnt get rid of it altogether but its definitely better than going without. And the truth is, they have no idea if it has an effect on baby or not because they have never wanted to do the research on an unborn child, understandably. as another poster put, all the scans have been fine, growth is good, I hope, touch wood, that i am doing the right thing:hugs: to other sufferers
     
  18. erikab922

    erikab922 Well-Known Member

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    Well I took an allergy med last night and am having the BEST itch-free day ever, I feel like a new person. Going to see if I can get away with taking it every other day. Can't thank you ladies enough for your honesty!
     
  19. rosie5637

    rosie5637 BFP 7/7/11 AI

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    i asked about this a while ago and got no replies, where have you ladies been? lol

    sounds like a few of you have contact urticaria like me. i've been taking piriton tablets 3x a day. my doctor and midwife told me this is the one they tell pregnant ladies to take and to avoid all the others. both my scans have shown a healthy baby.

    i'd go crazy without the tablets:wacko:

    i'd be worried that if i didn't take them and i got OC that i wouldn't notice:shrug:
     
  20. SabrinaKat

    SabrinaKat Delighted Mum to Finn

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    My ob/gyn said Beconase was fine; unusually, my hayfever isn't too bad in pregnancy BUT my sinuses are another story...sigh, loved the moving of the head from one side to another to get relief, e.g. blocked on the left side, okay for ten minutes on the right, and then you shake it all about -- that's how you do the hokey-nosey-pokey!

    best wishes
     

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