Posted by: PREGNANT | 2003/12/17

Medication & supplements while pregnant

Please help. I battle to get time off work to get to a doctor, and I only have my gynae appointments once a month but I need some advice. I am 3 and a half months pregnant and suddenly my bones in my one hand and my knee are aching. I was told by my gynae that calcium supplements are not neccesary right now - but should I start taking them? I am taking COMPLENATAL as well as FOLIC ACID. I do not know what is causing this pain and it is affecting my work as I am on computers all day. Also, I have always suffered from hayfever (obviously I am under a curse as I adore animals) yet I do have 7 cats and 2 dogs. Before I fell pregnant I was coping well with the hayfever by taking 1 allergex tablet before bed. I would sleep well and not suffer at all the next day. Now I cannot cope. I am completely congested and I do not sleep properly, and I suffer from hayfever worse than ever before and can barely breathe at times. I have not taken any medication for hayfever as I believe it is dangerous during pregnancy - but surely there must be something I can take? I also have another problem: I know that hormonal changes while pregnant can also cause Thrush and I am sure I have this. Is there anything I can take/use that is safe? Lastly, I am getting the dreaded headaches all pregnant women apparently get. Panado is completely pointless - it does not help at all. If there is no other medication I can take - what can I do to ease the headaches (these happen while I am at work). Thanks for your help.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImagePharmacist

Please afford yourself some time to see your gynaecologist, you owe it to yourself and your unborn child. The golden rule during pregnancy is: As little medication as possible, none at all is the ideal. This fortunately does not mean that you have to suffer through 9 months of "hell on earth"!

Most medicine manufacturers add the following phrase to their product pamflets: "The safety of use of this medication has not been established during pregnancy..." etc. , for obvious medical, legal and ethical reasons. Although some medicines are downright dangerous and therefore contra-indicated during pregnancy, there are quite a few treatment regimes which can be safely prescribed during pregnancy.

As far as your pets are concerned, it might be an option to have them stay at perhaps a friend's, until after the baby is born-a difficult, but apparently neccessary measure.

Medication: Any nasal spray containing oxymetasoline is considered safe after the first trimester, although for very short term use: 5 to 7 days. Used any longer than that, it may cause damage to the nasal mucosa, compounding your problem. A mild cortisone nasal spray might be a safer option, but relief only occurs after a few days of use, and treatment may be continued as long as neccessary. You might also have developed a bacterial infection of your sinus cavities due to the chronic allergic reaction. This, if present, may be treated by an antibiotic considered safe by, and prescribed by your doctor.

The pain in your hand and knee might be work related, the headache might be work-stress related, or an indication of another problem. Have your blood pressure taken daily and IMMEDIATELY see your doctor if it rises above 140/90. As mentioned before, you have to afford time to see your doctor in any case, as it is not preferable to treat any pain during pregnancy with any over the counter preparations other than paracetamol. The Allergex should be avoided, if possible. A vaginal cream containing clotrimazole may be used to treat the thrush, but again, please see a doctor to confirm the diagnosis, as any vaginal infection during pregnancy may lead to SERIOUS complications. The Complenatal and folic acid must be continued, and calcium may be added, with an adequate fluid intake.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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