Approximately one-third of pregnant women who have allergies report their allergy symptoms worsen during pregnancy, according to Allergy and Asthma Network. Another third reports their symptoms remain about the same, with the final third finding their symptoms actually improve during pregnancy.(1)
Women need to be cautious about any medicine taken during pregnancy, and this applies to medicine to help with allergy symptoms. They should consult with their physician for specific instructions, advises Allergy and Asthma Network. A physician is likely to recommend ways to reduce symptoms without medication, such as allergy proofing the home, using saline nasal sprays and nasal strips. Generally, oral antihistamines may be taken after the first trimester. Second generation oral antihistamines, loratadine and cetirizine, are considered safe during pregnancy.(1)
For pregnant women with moderate to severe symptoms, a physician may recommend a corticosteroid spray (nonprescription) at the lowest effective dose.(2) On the other hand, decongestant nasal sprays are problematic, with some studies showing an increased risk of birth defects when they are used. “Pregnant women should avoid antihistamine nasal sprays, as there is not enough research to prove their safety,” states Allergy and Asthma Network.(1)
A pregnant woman who is undergoing allergenic immunotherapy (allergy shots) may continue treatment during pregnancy. Current doses are maintained during pregnancy, and not increased until after delivery, states the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Immunotherapy is not initiated during pregnancy.(3)
For allergy professionals, Xtract Solutions offers cloud-based Allergy Immunotherapy software, designed to organize the allergy practice, from initial testing through to successful completion of immunotherapy.
(1) Allergy and Asthma Network, Pregnancy and Allergies, https://allergyasthmanetwork.org/allergies/
(2) Marnach, M. MD, Mayo Clinic, Is it Safe to Take Allergy Medications During Pregnancy, https://www.mayoclinic.org/
(3) American Academy of Allergies, Asthma and Immunology, Asthma, Allergies and Pregnancy, https://www.aaaai.org/