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'Remedies' when pregnant WARNING

(22 Posts)
lastnightiwenttomanderley Sun 21-Jun-15 07:56:14

Hopefully this may help others.

Just abandoned a work trip to.Europe halfway through as being 27 weeks and battling a rotten cold had utterly wiped me out. Whilst there, I went to a local pharmacy to ask if there was anything I could take for a sore throat while pregnant (my language skills are good enough to convey this without misunderstanding). The pharmacist thought for a bit before disappearing out the back and returning with a throat spray. When I got back to the hotel I checked what was in it. Ingredient number one? Belladonna... I'm no plant expert but even I know that this is deadly nightshade and not good in pregnancy. A quick google confirmed this and I went back to the pharmacy with it. The pharmacists answer was that 'it's natural so it's safe'.
Since returning to.the UK I've found that homeopaths recommend this as a labour aid, definitely to be avoided at 27 weeks.

Just a word of caution to anyone heading beyond the UK to make sure you check carefully anything you might be given!

karbonfootprint Sun 21-Jun-15 07:59:00

Lots of herbal remedies are very dangerous, not just in pregnancy.

Flisspaps Sun 21-Jun-15 08:01:40

Homeopaths talk cobblers.

The biggest risk from homeopathy is drowning from the quantities of magical water you'd have to consume in an effort to get any of the inactive active ingredient.

scaevola Sun 21-Jun-15 08:02:16

I don't think belladonna is sold as a herbal remedy.

It is sold as a homeopathic one.

Those are safe in PG because the ultra-lowdown get means you are not ingesting a detectable amount of the substance.

Herbal is not synonymous with homeopathic.

karbonfootprint Sun 21-Jun-15 08:02:34

..and a surprising number of "organic" stuff contains belladonna, it is a natural weed!

sparechange Sun 21-Jun-15 08:02:42

Top tip for sore throats when pregnant... Marshmallows. Half a dozen usually do the trick

scaevola Sun 21-Jun-15 08:02:46

* ultra low-dose

HumphreyCobbler Sun 21-Jun-15 08:03:26

homeopathy is different to herbal medicine though. I would argue that any actual homeopathic remedy is safe in pg as it is only water but herbal medicine would not be necessarily as it has an active ingredient.

karbonfootprint Sun 21-Jun-15 08:03:46

scaevola, this was not a homeopathic remedy, it was a herbal one,

lastnightiwenttomanderley Sun 21-Jun-15 08:09:50

I have no idea whether it was homeopathic or not (i agree that these are so minutely concentrated!) The homeopathic reference was just something I'd found since getting back. Either way, not something I'd actively want to consume.

Lots of mushrooms are 'natural' but can still kill you. Just want to remind people that 'natural' is not synonymous with 'ok in pregnancy'

sparechange Sounds great though think I may be at risk of overdosing, is that dangerous? smile

lastnightiwenttomanderley Sun 21-Jun-15 08:10:22

(or, as PP have said, safe at any time!)

contractor6 Sun 21-Jun-15 08:10:59

Spare change thanks for the marshmallow tip, I had fruit mentos to soothe throat. But ate three packets on a day as only soothing when eating

Skiptonlass Sun 21-Jun-15 13:34:05

Anything homeopathic is total quackery, but perfectly safe - it's just water.

But the 'it's natural so its safe' brigade are morons. Arsenic is natural. Cyanide is natural. Asbestos is natural.

Possibly the best homeopathy sketch ever.

geekymommy Mon 22-Jun-15 00:53:24

Homeopathic remedies would probably make me pee even more than I am already. Not peeing enough is not a problem right now, thank you very much.

xmaslisa Mon 22-Jun-15 01:16:59

Warm salt water to gargle and a spoon of honey for a sore throat always works for me smile

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Mon 22-Jun-15 06:08:11

Homeopathy remedies are safe.
Not going to make you better though so might as well not bother.

geekymommy Mon 22-Jun-15 23:21:23

Homeopathic remedies are a waste of money, if you're paying more for them than you would for bottled water. They're the same thing.

The "natural is safe" types are stupid. I'll take my Diet Pepsi with all its scary artificial chemicals over natural cyanide or arsenic any day.

WinterOfOurDiscountTents15 Tue 23-Jun-15 20:10:41

If its homeopathic there is nothing in it to harm you during pregnancy, since there is nothing actually in it.
If its herbal then surely no-one needs to be warned not to take random unknown concentrations of possibly deadly plant stuffs? I find it hard to believe you could buy any actual belladonna in any licensed pharmacy OTC in Europe though, since its incredibly toxic and easily fatal.

TheOddity Tue 23-Jun-15 20:51:17

Homeopathic may be safe, but it is certainly not rigourously medically tested like the drugs that can be prescribed to pregnant women relatively safely. My doctor (in another European country) prescribed some homeopathic hayfever tablets and wouldn't give me ceterizine etc despite NHS website saying ok in pregnancy. When I looked up what she had given me, it said, not tested to be safe for pregnant women. Great! Even better, they don't work! So now I am taking bugger all and praying the sun doesn't shine so the pollen count stays low.

lastnightiwenttomanderley Wed 24-Jun-15 05:52:16

Winter I.completely agree - hence my Italian argument with the pharmacist! I'd never take anything without knowing what was in it.

However, it's easy to forget that pharmacists require different levels of training in different places and many may trust them as a voice of knowledge without checking what they are giving them.

Interestingly, the UK pharmacist just said to keep hydrated, gargle with warm salt water and maybe use some glycerin throat sweets to ease it.

lastnightiwenttomanderley Wed 24-Jun-15 05:58:07

And I assure you that despite your disbelief, that was exactly what I was given. Quite what concentration I don't know but I'm not taking my chances.

WinterOfOurDiscountTents15 Wed 24-Jun-15 13:15:37

No concentration at all, because I'm familiar with Italian pharmacies andcan pretty much guarantee you were given a homepathic remedy, which will not contain any at all of the active ingredient.

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