Is it safe to take Benadryl during pregnancy?

Benadryl comes in several different forms, including oral tablets, liquid-filled capsules, and solutions, as well as topical creams, gels, sprays, and sticks.

Its active compound is a first-generation antihistamine, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. This class of drugs is more likely to cause side effects than second-generation antihistamines, such as Zyrtec and Claritin, but is generally safe for healthy adults.

Some studies have shown that antihistamines can cause birth defects, notes the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). However, most researchers say these drugs are safe during pregnancy. The CDC recommends consulting your doctor before taking any medications or supplements, even if they are OTC brands. “Benadryl is Class B, which means it’s safe in animal studies, but there are no human studies of Benadryl in pregnancy,” obstetrician Margaret Sullivan told Forbes. “Nevertheless, we’ve been using it for decades, so it’s considered a very safe pregnancy drug,” she added.

But even so, Dr. Sullivan says it’s hard to say how this drug will affect your baby. Additionally, it can cause dizziness, low blood pressure, blurred vision, and other issues that can lead to falls or injuries. Higher doses may increase the risk of Benedryl side effects, warns Dr. Sullivan. To stay safe, try not to exceed 50 milligrams of Benadryl per day. Ideally, take 25 milligrams at bedtime for a few days and adjust the dose as needed. Zyrtec and other second-generation antihistamines may be a better choice during pregnancy, suggests the Cleveland Clinic.

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