Pregnant woman with a stethoscope on her belly to listen to her child

1. Importance of Safe Use of Medicines During Pregnancy

Improper use of medicines may lead to premature babies, underweight babies, and stillborn births, and in less desirable cases teratogenicity and birth defects. However, in patients with existing medical condition, premature withdrawal or negligence of due medical treatment may result in long-term complications for both the mother and the baby. Pregnant women should always seek medical advice prior to consuming or discontinuing any medications.

Related: A to Z of Pregnancy Health

2. Medicines that Can Be Used During Pregnancy

The following list of medicines appeared to have no known harmful side effects during pregnancy when taken according to instructions. Note that no drug can be considered 100% safe to use during pregnancy. Always consult a doctor or pharmacist before taking any medications, especially in the first trimester.

Common Conditions

Over-the-Counter Medicines

Pharmacy-Only Medicines (obtained through pharmacist)

Other Treatment Options



  • Chlorpheniramine



  • Fybogel
  • Lactulose Syrup
  • Bisacodyl or Senna

Short-Term Use

  • Glycerin Suppositories




  • Guaiphenesin Syrup
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Dextromethorphan



  • Antacid preparation containing Aluminum or Calcium
  • Famotidine
  • Ranitidine




  • Promethazine Theoclate


Runny Nose

  • Oxymetazoline Nasal Decongestant Spray
  • Chlorpheniramine


Sore Throat



  • Gargle with Saltwater

Related: Safe Medication During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

3. Alternative Therapies for Morning Sickness Symptoms


Alternative Therapies

Nausea and Vomiting

  • Pyridoxine
  • Vitamin B6 tablets
  • Ginger roots
  • Acupuncture


  • Postural adjustment (Chiropractic)

Pain Relief in Labour

  • Epidural injection
  • Relaxation and breathing technique
  • Acupuncture

Related: Morning Sickness - Should You Be Worried?

4. Medicines that Should Be Avoided in Pregnancy

Type of Medications


Blood Thinners

  • Warfarin
  • Aspirin
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) e.g. Mefenamic acid, Ibuprofen, Naproxen

High Blood Pressure Medications

  • Anticholinesterase inhibitors (ACEI) e.g. Enalapril, Captopril, Lisinopril
  • Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs) e.g. Losartan, Valsartan, Telmisartan

Acne Medications

  • Retinoid Derivatives

Related: When to Sound the Alarm on Your Pregnancy

5. Alternative Therapies that Should be Avoided in Pregnancy

Types of Alternative Therapies


Oral Supplements

Arbor Vitae, Beetroot, Black Cohosh, Blue Cohosh, Cascara, Chaste Tree Berry, Chinese Angelica (Dong Quai), Cinchona, Cotton Root Bark, Feverfew, Ginseng, Golden Seal, Juniper, Kava Kava, Licorice, Meadow Saffron, Pennyroyal, Poke Root, Rue, Sage, St. John's Wort, Senna, Slippery Root, Tansy, White Peony, Wormwood, Yarrow, Yellow Dock

Aromatherapy Oils

Calamus, Mugwort, Pennyroyal, Sage, Wintergreen, Basil, Hyssop, Myrrh, Marjoram, and Thyme

Pregnant women are advised to seek doctors’ or pharmacists’ advice before starting on any supplements.

Read these next: