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A question about antihistamines

(22 Posts)
HappySecret Thu 07-Jul-05 14:42:37

Are they safe to take when you're pregnant or TTC? Also Eurax, is it safe?

HappySecret Tue 09-Aug-05 20:22:45


HappySecret Tue 09-Aug-05 21:05:02

Doesn't anybody have any experience of taking antihistamines when they were pregnant or ttc?

basketcase Tue 09-Aug-05 21:10:53

I took antihistamines when pregnant on GP’s advice after 12 weeks and as little as possible. Can’t remember which brand now, really sorry
Recommend you phone your GP and ask advice as there may be something in your medical hostiry that complicates the picture such as asthma or other medication.
Sorry , not much help but best get it checked rather than take unnecessary risks

Tabs Tue 09-Aug-05 21:25:04

Everyone I know has been advised that there isn't an antihistamine that's safe during pregnancy, though I think that there may be a couple of nasal sprays which are acceptable. Best to check with docs which ones.

Note that antihistamines also help dry up your CM, and less CM means sperm living less time, so harder to conceive!

I'd give 'em up and invest in some tissues if I were you!!

basketcase Tue 09-Aug-05 23:07:23

Just remembered - it was beconase nasal spray that I used with GP’s full consent after 12 weeks. DH reminded me (looking over my shoulder as I type) that I was told to use it only when desperate and to avoid piriton for some reason (my usual back up for allergies)

gingernut Tue 09-Aug-05 23:55:07

I'm not sure about the advice about taking antihistamines when TTC, but none are recommended during pg by their manufacturers. For hayfever, you can use steroid nasal srays and there is another product, a preventative medicine called cromoglycate which you can take (it's in some over the counter eye drops and nasal sprays). AFAIK, piriton is actually the only antihistamine which is considered safe. I was told I could take priton for PUPPP during the last week or so of my last pg and I did take it with no apparent adverse outcome (although I didn't take many doses as it didn't work for my condition).

I think you should consult your doctor.

HappySecret Wed 10-Aug-05 16:30:07

If it was just hayfever I'd live with it, but this is for a nasty contact dermatitis that I struggle to control without antihistamines. I had a chat with a pharmacist today and he showed me his guide book - can't rmeber what it was called but its the same as the GP has. And it show that therre is no evidence in animal studies that any of the antihistamines listed cause problems but that the manufacturers recomend that they should be avoided. But Piriton wasn't mentioned and the pharmacist said that if there was any concern it would be mentioned especially as it is an old medicine that has been in use for a long time and would have a lot of history.

Toothache Wed 10-Aug-05 16:43:12

HappySecret - I have contact dermititus and took an antihistamine every second day throughout both of my pregnancies. My GP prescribed Phenergan, but watch out coz it makes you drowsy!!! I took them just before i went to bed at night and found that effects lasted all the next day.

Bonus is it is also used to help with morning sickness!!! 3 birds with one stone eh?

My GP also told me last year when I was pg with my 2nd that Piriton is okay too(I took baby Piriton syrup). So you can buy that over the counter.

It really helped my asthma too.

pjsmum Wed 10-Aug-05 19:30:58

Hi, i was prescribed antihistamines for my hayfever when i was pregnant, can't remeber what they were called, sorry. The Eurax, do you mean the itchy skin cream? If you do, i used that also (very very itchy bump, drove me insane) My dad, a doctor recomended it and when i brought it at the chemist no questions asked. Hope that is what you mean now! Hayleve are the tablets had some downstairs. Didn't make me drowsy when pregnant but do now (weird)

JennyWren Wed 10-Aug-05 19:43:18


I was advised by my GP to swap to Piriton for my allergic excema whilst I was pregnant and now thyat I am breastfeeding. It's not proven safe, as it is unethical to do clinical trials on pregnant women, but it has been used in pregnancy for years and years and there are no recorded ill effects, so that is as close to proof as you'll get.
Piriton itself works out quite expensive though, as you are supposed to take several per day as opposed to the 'one a day' tablet I used to take. You can get a Boots own version though, which is cheaper.

gingernut Wed 10-Aug-05 20:10:03

HappySecret, I expect the pharmacist was looking at something like the British National Formulary . He is right in that Appendix 4 of the BNF which is about information on safety of drugs in pregnancy does not actually mention Piriton. However the drug's SPC says:

`There is inadequate evidence of safety in human pregnancy. Piriton Tablets should only be used during pregnancy when clearly needed and when the potential benefits outweigh the potential unknown risks to the foetus. Use during the third trimester may result in reactions in neonates.

It is reasonable to assume that chlorphenamine maleate may inhibit lactation and may be secreted in breast milk. The use of Piriton preparations in mother's breast feeding their babies requires that the therapeutic benefits of the drug should be weighed against the potential hazards to the mother and baby.'

So, the manufacturer does not recommend its use. This is because, as JennyWren says, they have no clinical trial data because pregnant women are usually excluded from clinical trials. So they cannot say that it is safe. But it has been used by many pg women without ill effects (according to what I have read and to the GP I saw).

Which kind of Eurax have you been using? Is it hydrocortisone? I had a severe contact dermatitis during my last pg and I was given betamethasone valerate. However, I think the doctor might have been nervous about prescribing such a strong steroid if I had not been nearly 40 weeks by then.

Do you mind me asking what the allergy is to? Is there any way in which you can reduce contact with the allergen? Which antihistamine are you using at the moment? I was lucky in that I could remove my contact with the allergen but the reaction flared up dramatically even after I had done this - I don't know whether that was something to do with being pg. The PUPPP started shortly after the contact dermatitis too, so I don't know if that might have been related (PUPPP is also an allergic condition).

HappySecret Thu 11-Aug-05 14:21:05

Thanks for all this. I'm not too sure what the allergy is. I think its something in my clothes because I can't wear nylon or acrylic. Mostly I'm ok if I wear silk which isn't very convenient with toddlres! I changed my washing powder and I stopped using fabric conditioner and it got a bit better but the sun makes it worse. What I'll do is only take Piriton if I go outside on sunny day.

gingernut Thu 11-Aug-05 14:46:09

Oh dear, tricky one, poor you .

sandyballs Thu 11-Aug-05 14:53:49

Happy - I sometimes wonder if taking Beconase while ttc actually helped me conceive. I'm a very allergic person .... exczema, hayfever, cats, dogs, wheat, all sorts of things but never used to take any medication.

I tried to conceive for four years without success and then during a particular bad bout of hayfever and eczema decided to take Beconase - I was pregnant with twins within six weeks .
Possibly my allergic state was rejecting DH's sperm. I shall never know for sure but often wonder!

sarashy Fri 08-Aug-08 15:04:40

hello, i just read in a newspaper article the other day about taking anithistamines not being good for conceiving and was seriously considering stopping them (even though that would be bad for me.) I am very allergic as in anaphlaxis to lots of things, but was thinking hey avoid those things n ill be fine.

i spoke to my doctor when we first started trying to conceive and they advise piriton and leveoceterizine. It is 2 years later and i still have managed to get pg. coincidence maybe! when i first was refered to my consultant i told her the meds i was on and she never said anything.

a lot of conflicting evidence me thinks. Just about to start clomid and also bad stories in press about that today. they just change their mind every other week.

WorzselMummage Fri 08-Aug-08 15:25:17

Antihistamines can dry up your cervcal mucous thats why its not great for ttc. I stopped taking my hayfever meds for the week over ov time and have not taken it since getting my bfp although actually i think the pregnancy has bumped my immuse system up a gear as my hayfevers almost vanished.

sarashy Fri 08-Aug-08 15:35:11

hey worzselmummage, did u get bfp the month you stopped taking antihistamines?

WorzselMummage Fri 08-Aug-08 15:38:39

The 2nd month

sarashy Fri 08-Aug-08 15:46:28

hummmm maybe give it a go then. just dont fancy another anaphlaxis attack. think will discuss it with my consultant at my next appointment.

WorzselMummage Fri 08-Aug-08 15:50:37

i was pretty miserable and snotty it has to be sait !

fizzbuzz Fri 08-Aug-08 16:18:43

I took phenergan as well. I think it is safe as it is also used for severe morning sickness.

Made me very sleepy and very grumpy though!

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