PREGNANCY Alert!: Stomach aches treatment with over the counter medicines.

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We know  nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is quite common.

If nondrug measures aren’t enough, here are some options.

Heartburn.

Use an antacid with calcium (Tums, etc) first…or one with aluminum/magnesium (Diovol, etc). These are considered safe at labelled doses…work quickly…and can be taken when symptoms occur.

Keep in mind that antacids can decrease absorption of iron in prenatal vitamins. Tell women to space these by at least 2 hours.

Avoid sodium bicarb (Alka-Seltzer, etc)…it may lead to alkalosis.

If an antacid isn’t enough, consider ranitidine (Zantac®) when an H2-blocker is needed…or omeprazole (Prilosec®)as the PPI of choice for more severe symptoms during pregnancy.

Constipation.

Try a bulk laxative (Metamucil®, etc)…they’re not absorbed and considered first-line in pregnancy. Remember to drink plenty of water…and slowly increase the dose to minimize gas and bloating.

Think of PEG 3350 (Restoralax®, etc) if needed too. It’s minimally absorbed…and may be better tolerated.

Save stimulants (senna, bisacodyl- Senokot®) for short-term use. These may cause cramping, dehydration, etc.

Docusate (Colace®) can also be used in pregnancy…but may not help much. Keep in mind, it may already be in some prenatal vitamins.

Hemorrhoids.

It’s okay to use EXternal topicals, such as witch hazel (Tucks®, etc) to soothe burning…a protectant (petrolatum, etc) to provide a barrier…an anesthetic (pramoxine, etc) for pain…or hydrocortisone 1% cream short-term for more severe itching.

Try not to use INternal products or routine use…safety data are scarce. So avoid suppositories or using the canula unless instructed by your physician.

A hot Epsom salts sitz bath should still be your favourite way to treat hemorrhoids, so sit in one for 15 minutes four times a day. You can pick a cheap one at your local pharmacy!

Avoid topical phenylephrine products (Preparation H®, etc)…vessel constriction may reduce blood flow to the uterus during pregnancy.

Pregnancy Stomach Ache

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