Monday, 9 September 2013

What Allergy Medicine Did I take during Pregnancy?

I came across an article today by Dr. Manura Nanayakkara on the side effects of Piriton which triggered my interest to write this blog post. I have previously talked about my antihistamine medication and this article today reminded me of Piriton, which I took during my pregnancy* a few years back.



Quick introduction of Piriton: Also known as Chlorpheniramine, it is a First-Generation antihistamine and is available over the counter (OTC). Amongst its side effects, First-Generation antihistamine commonly causes drowsiness and dry mouth.

My obstetrician prescribed me Piriton when I complained that my allergic rhinitis has worsened severely during pregnancy and assured me that it is safe to take. And as far as he knows, this is the only known safe antihistamine for pregnancy as its been around for a long time. Dosage was 1 tab at bedtime as it may cause drowsiness.

I've always been reluctant to take medication due to its side effects and only take them when I feel really awful and there is no other way out. This is more so during pregnancy. I think due to hormonal changes, my allergic rhinitis condition deteriorated during pregnancy and I always find myself losing sleep due to constant sneezing, runny nose which is often congested as well. The lack of sleep and my allergy made me feel like crap and I had no choice but succumb to taking a few Piriton tabs during my entire pregnancy journey for relief. A few tabs only for 9 months? Well, on days when I had my allergy and the usual discomfort that came with it, I bore with it and avoided Piriton, unless I was at risk of blowing my nose off!

My spouse, on the other hand, is more open with regards to taking medication, especially seeing how much discomfort I had to endure for my allergic condition and would ask me to take it more often for relief since its been given the green light by my obstetrician. I was also concerned that my constant sneezing would affect my baby as my sneezes can be quite forceful at times! Such is the dilemma for a pregnant mother - to take or not to take?

To all pregnant ladies out there with allergic rhinitis: I wish u all best and hope that you cope well with your allergic condition. Hang in there! :) Please be extra cautious and consult your doctor on the type of medication you can take and be aware of the side effects. I would not recommend taking any OTC drugs unless you get the go-ahead from your doctor.

*I have not gone for my allergy test then and did not do much research on my own, so was not aware of products like saline nasal spray, neti-pots, anti dust mite beddings etc which could help.