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Can Take Mucinex Cold and Flu While Pregnant

Can Take Mucinex Cold and Flu While Pregnant

Pregnancy often comes with its own set of discomforts such as nausea, headaches and fatigue. Dealing with a stuffy nose or hacking cough can be difficult. However, it is best not to take Mucinex during pregnancy because its safety has not been clearly established.

Guaifenesin, the active ingredient in Mucinex, may be safe during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, but we don't know enough about how this drug might affect the fetus. To limit your risk, avoid Mucinex during pregnancy and seek alternatives to relieve cough and cold symptoms.

What is Mucinex?

Mucinex is an over-the-counter cough medicine. Its main ingredient, guaifenesin, thins mucus so it can be easily drained from the nasal passages, throat and lungs.

"It loosens and thins the mucus in the lungs so you can cough it up and helps clear the airways, making breathing easier," says Dr. Alan Lindemann, an obstetrician-gynecologist and maternal mortality expert.

Mucinex is not for dry cough. “Mucinex is used for mucus-producing coughs that are not dry,” says Megan Gray, MD, ob/gyn at Orlando Health Physician Associates.

Some types of mucinex also contain dextromethorphan, a cough medicine that suppresses the cough reflex in the brain. Other medications may include acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain relief or pseudoephedrine, a nasal and sinus decongestant.3 Dextromethorphan and acetaminophen are generally considered safe during pregnancy, but pseudoephedrine is not.

Mucinex also comes in a variety of formulations and dosages, but it is best to avoid all of these during pregnancy. Also, be careful not to accidentally take too many cold remedies that contain multiple ingredients (such as dextromethorphan and acetaminophen), especially when used with other medicines or over-the-counter products.

Is it safe to take Mucinex during pregnancy?

Not enough research has been done to determine whether Mucinex is safe to take during pregnancy. Some studies suggest that Mucinex may be dangerous to take during early pregnancy. Because we do not know enough about how Mucinex may affect a developing fetus during the late second trimester, stopping this drug is the safest option.

“It is not yet known if Mucinex is safe to use during pregnancy,” says Dr. Lindemann. "Therefore, it is not recommended to use it, especially in the first trimester. In any case, ask your doctor or midwife before taking Mucinex."

Mucinex is considered a Category C pregnancy drug by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), meaning it should be avoided due to insufficient research.

In rare cases, your health care provider may decide that the benefits of Mucinex outweigh the risks of taking it during pregnancy and may allow you to take it during the second and third trimesters.

Is Mucinex safe to use during pregnancy?
The three active ingredients of Mucinex, Mucinex D, and Mucinex DM are guaifenesin, dextromethorphan, and pseudoephedrine. These drugs are found in different amounts in these Mucinex products. To understand the safety of Mucinex during pregnancy, you must first look at the safety of these three ingredients.

Guaifenesin
Guaifenesin is an expectorant. It helps relieve symptoms of chest congestion by loosening and thinning mucus in the lungs. Coughing up mucus clears the airways and makes breathing easier.

According to sources from the American Academy of Family Physicians, it is not yet known if guaifenesin is safe to use during pregnancy. Therefore, doctors recommend avoiding its use in the first trimester.

Dextromethorphan
Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. It works by influencing signals in the brain that trigger the cough reflex. According to the same source from the American Academy of Family Physicians, dextromethorphan appears to be safe to use during pregnancy. However, this drug should be used during pregnancy only when clearly needed.

Pseudoephedrine
Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant. It helps reduce nasal congestion by constricting the blood vessels in the nasal passages. The American Academy of Family Physicians says pseudoephedrine may cause certain birth defects in early pregnancy. It is not recommended to use it during that time.

All six forms of Mucinex listed above contain guaifenesin and should be avoided during early pregnancy. However, it may be safe to use during late pregnancy. However, you should always ask your doctor before taking any Mucinex product during pregnancy.

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