Can You Take Zyrtec When Pregnant?

Taking Zyrtec During Pregnancy and Other Allergy Relief Alternatives

Taking medications while pregnant is a tricky subject. Luckily for pregnant allergy sufferers, there are a handful of allergy medications that are generally considered safe to take during pregnancy, and Zyrtec is one of them.

Always Check With Your Doctor

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If you are pregnant or are trying to conceive and are currently taking Zyrtec or Zyrtec-D, definitely let your doctor know. Doctors should always be aware of the medications their pregnant patients are taking or planning to take.

Zyrtec’s Pregnancy Risk Category

Zyrtec, otherwise known as cetirizine, is considered a Class B category drug. This means that when studied on pregnant animals, no adverse fetal effects were found. However, it’s important to know that while deemed safe for animals, there haven’t been any well-controlled studies conducted in actual pregnant women.

Instructions for Taking Zyrtec

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Zyrtec typically comes in a 10-mg tablet. Only one of these tablets should be taken in a 24-hour period. Some generic versions of Zyrtec have a 5-mg version. If your allergies aren’t terrible and you just need a little relief, you can opt to go this route.

What About Zyrtec-D?

While Zyrtec is a Category B pregnancy drug, Zyrtec-D is another story. The “D” in Zyrtec-D stands for “decongestant,” which means it contains pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine is a Class C category drug.

Category C drugs mean that the studies conducted on pregnant animals have shown adverse effects on the fetus. And, like Category B drugs, there haven’t been any well-controlled studies conducted in actual pregnant women as well.

Many doctors want their pregnant patients to avoid Category C drugs all together, while some may let you take them in moderation if they are truly necessary. Definitely talk to your doctor if you think you need Zyrtec-D.

Allergy Relief Alternatives

While taking Zyrtec during pregnancy is typically okay, some women would rather avoid medication and look into other allergy relief alternatives.

Here are some medication-free strategies you can use to help alleviate your seasonal allergies:

  • Use saline. Many allergy sufferers use saline spray to flush out their nasal passages and rid them of irritants. You can also try using a neti pot filled with saline water.
  • Avoid pollen peak times. Pollen is a huge allergy trigger. If it’s one of yours, try to stay indoors in the morning and again around midday when the pollen count is at its highest.
  • Shut your windows. As much as everyone loves fresh air, it’s not the best for allergy sufferers. Keep your windows shut during allergy season, and if it’s hot, use your air conditioning.
  • Exercise. Studies show that physical activity can actually help ease nasal inflammation.  
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