Nasal spray (Afrin) during pregnancy. OK to use or not?

Jillian - posted on 10/15/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )




I'm 30 weeks pregnant with my second and have a head cold. I never got sick with my first, so I'm not sure what's OK to take. I hear conflicting info about nasal sprays for decongestant, but seems like it would be better than taking an oral, right?


Mary - posted on 10/15/2012




The affects of drugs on unborn babies have not been studied to any conclusive degree. I would be cautious. But you can take vitamins and Echinacea to help yourself get over the cold.

I wouldn't necessarily say that a nasal decongestant spray would be better than an oral, unless they have different drugs and the nasal ones are safer. Drugs can absorb very quickly into your bloodstream through mucous membranes.

Ashley - posted on 10/15/2012




Ronald J. Ruggiero

pharmacy and obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science

Nasal decongestant sprays are probably safe to use during pregnancy, but they're not a good idea in general. That's because after using them for two or three days, you start to get rebound congestion that makes you worse off than when you began.

If you can't treat your congestion with a plain saline nose spray, then try rubbing a camphorated ointment such as Vicks VapoRub at the bottom of each nostril, taking a doctor-recommended decongestant, or even eating a spicy meal.

John Larsen

ob-gyn, genetics

Yes. In fact, it's a good idea to use one if you have signs of a sinus infection, such as a fever and yellow, green, or red mucus. If you develop a bacterial infection in your sinuses, the bacteria can release toxins into your bloodstream, which could theoretically trigger premature labor.

The risk with nasal decongestants is that you can get habituated to them and end up feeling stuffy even when you're not. So probably the best time to use one is at night, if you're having trouble sleeping, rather than during the day.

found this at hope this helps!


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September - posted on 10/16/2012




FYI: Mary, Echinacea is not recommended during pregnancy. Jillian you should try plain saline as opposed to Afrin. I hope you feel better soon!

Michelle - posted on 10/15/2012




Usually it will say on the package if it's not ok to take while pregnant. Either check with the pharmacist or doctor as well.

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