Can You Take Sudafed While Pregnant?

Sudafed® (pseudoephedrine hydrochloride) is a decongestant often used for allergies or the common cold. Many people may wonder if Sudafed can be taken while a woman is pregnant.
There is some preliminary evidence that taking the drug in early pregnancy (during the first trimester) may increase the risk of gastroschisis (an opening in the abdominal wall which allows a portion of the intestines to protrude) or small intestinal atresia (a blockage or missing section of the small intestine). However, the risk (if it truly exists) appears to be small, and other causes (such as other medications) cannot be ruled out.
However, it is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines the same way that humans do. Therefore, Sudafed may be given to pregnant women if a healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
(Click Sudafed and Pregnancy for more information about the potential risks of using this medication during pregnancy and to find out how the FDA rates this particular drug.)
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