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Antihistamines whilst pregnant?

Just wondered if anyone had any experience of taking antihistamines whilst pregnant?
I only found out this weekend that I am expecting, but had to go to the out of hours doctor today because I have come out in some bizarre allergy rash all over my face, neck, under arms and forearms.

He prescribed Cetirizine Hydrochloride which is apparently one of the few antihistamines that are not on the list of ones that you should not take under any circumstances. He said it was up to me whether I took it or not, but the reason they can't recommend them is that they have only been tested on pregnant animals, because seriously how many pregnant women are they going to find willing to have a drug trialled on them?

I just wondered if anyone has used this, or any other antihistamines whilst pregnant with no ill effect?

Thanks for any advice you can offer xx


  • hi i could be very wrong and am no medical expert AT ALL but personally i wouldnt take them, as far as i was aware ALL antihistamines were banned since the 80's for prgnant women.
  • I have been on antihistamines, they are actually used quite a bit in pregnancy to help reduce sickness/nausea - hence why I am taking them, I can't think of the full pharmacutical name off the top of my head but the shop version (as opposed to prescription) is Avomine - they are also used to treat travel sickness, etc. Drs are willing to prescribe them, but they are not a licensed product for use in pregnancy, but as my dr said, no drug is, since thalidomide and it's side effects, no companys/institutions have been willing to licence anything for use in pregnancy. I know that with the meds I am on, there have never been any recorded birth defects from usage, but again it's left purely up to me whether I take them.
    HTH. xx
  • I suffer badly from hayfever and even though my midwife said that it would be fine to tke the odd one if i was really suffering, i chose not too. It was a difficult choice as i suffer badly, but i was just too paranoid - saying that i wont take paracetamol either even though the midwife tells me its fine - i think it just comes down to personal choice.

    I hope that you dont end up suffering too much whatever you decide x
  • Hi
    I have very bad allergies and was on antihistamines the whole time I was pregnant / breastfeeding and they didn't cause any problems. At first I was taking cetirizine hydrochloride, then the doc changed me onto Loratidine because they were in the book as being OK, but there just hadn't been enough data collected on the cetirizine ones yet for them to be listed as safe.

    I found the Loratidine weren't as good, but managed to stick with them until I had my daughter, then I switched back to cetirizine while breastfeeding.

    It really depends on your circumstances, whether the effect of not taking them is going to be worse. with me my asthma gets really bad and the reduced oxygen to the baby was going to be worse than the minimal risk from the antihistamines.


    aileen xx
  • hi hun, dilemma isnt it, i usually take them too for hayfever, but i just took nasal spray and eye drops this year- tough when pollen is high. however i did take cyclizine which is an antihistamine, and this was for nausea and sickness which i had till 20+ weeks, mmy baby is fine and ive spoken to lots of mums online who took it. iin an ideal world we'd take nothing but you have to take something if uve got a rash, its very rare it may cause a side effect to baby, but it is up to you, good luck xx
  • Hi, My doctor prescribed me piriton (chlorphenamine) when I was suffering bad with hayfever earlier in the year, she said not to take any of the ones you buy over the counter especially the one a day ones. I was impressed that there was something I could take as I was expecting to be sent home with nothing as I thought all antihisthamines were banned in pregnancy.

    B xx
  • I also took antihistamines in the early stages of my pregnancy for nausea - I had promethazine which apparently is one of the safer ones, though because there is no research on pregnant women, it is impossible to say that any of them are risk free. I took up to three a day for four months due to horrendous hyperemesis and my baby is fine so far (I'm 32 weeks).

  • Thanks JoB81 - that's the one I'm on - Promethazine Teoclate, keep forgetting to look at the proper name on the box!
  • Thank you so much for your advice ladies, it is very much appreciated xx
  • I started getting really itchy from about 37 weeks of pregnancy and both my GP and a midwife prescribed piriton for me. They say that it's not been tested but pregnant ladies have been taking it for decades and there is no evidence that it has any negative effect.

    I took one a night for a couple of weeks and my little girl is fine! xx
  • i had puppps with dd1 and was on antihistamines from 32 weeks, she was born at a tiny 5lb 13ozs and came 2 weeks early but is totally fine and is now a big girl. i do think the tablets slowed down ehr growth in teh qwomb but i couldnt have survived without them, i was on piriton btw. x
  • Thank you for sharing your experiences ladies xx
  • my dr perscibed me with cetirizine hydrochloride this morning as i have got random rashes on my arm that i thought were gnat bites and i also get really bad hayfever more so these last few weeks. did anyone take these during pregnancy? i am 22 weeks btw. 

  • Hi,


    I was prescribed piriton to help me sleep as I had intrhepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP/OC).

    I also had a rash which is not the norm and it took my rash down.  Didn't help the itch but it did make me drowsy!

    In fact I am not sure being a clumsy pregnant lady you need any extra drowsiness! image


    I think avoid it if you can but it is surely not good for baby if you are suffering unnecessarily.

  • my chemist said the only brand i can take is one called new era x

  • have been prescribed cetirizine hydrochloride today as I am sufferring badly from hayfever, which then aggrevates my already severe eczema. I am 4 weeks pregnant now. If you get a rash and are constantly itching and sneezing and crying, this is definitely not good for your baby. my doctor is saying these are least harmful and gave me a prescription for 60 days. If your body needs help - means your body needs help. No reason to sit and suffer too much there... After all, if you keep it untreated, your skin rash gets really bad, you itch even more and then get infection into your blood.... Definitely not good...

  • Hi, I found this thread useful as I have been on antihistamines for a long time (about 7 months) as I had bad skin allergies and have itchiness all the time.

    I am now 7 weeks pregnant and tried to stop the antihistamines but itchiness comes back and it is very painful so taking one or two a week at the moment and that helps.

    GP says that it is better to avoid them all together but i was not able stop completely but at least reduce it. I wanted to check what experiences others have, whether or not they have similar problem. 

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