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    April 6, 2007
    Taking Sudafed PE While Pregnant

    Sudafed_pe
    Evidently there is quite the discussion going on over at the Storkcalling Blog about whether or not it is safe to take Sudafed PE while pregnant. Let’s see what all the fuss is about….

    "A friend of mine e-mailed me the following story on Sudafed and Sudafed PE."

    "A few months back, I had a
    terrible cold.  My doctor told me to take Sudafed – Regular Sudafed,
    not the cold and cough, or any of the other
    combination ones.  We already had that Sudafed at home, so I started
    taking
    it.  About 5 days later, the cough had gotten bad, and I don’t like
    taking cough medicine, so I called the doctor to see if I could take
    Sudafed cold and cough.

    I checked the ingredients on the sudafed
    website
    ,
    and they were the same as taking regular Sudafed and Robitussin, which
    is allowed when pregnant.  [my husband] went to the pharmacy
    to get it for me since the doctor said those ingredients that I read to
    her were ok.  Luckily, he told the pharmacist I was pregnant, just to
    make sure they said it was ok, and they told him I could not take it. I
    told him my doctor said it was ok, and went over the ingredients with
    him.

    Her information was outdated.  A while back, Sudafed changed their
    formula
    because people were using it to make crystal meth.  You can still buy
    regular Sudafed, but it is behind the counter, and you have to sign for
    it. What they now sell as "regular" sudafed over the counter is Sudafed
    PE.

    I called the doctor to see which one I was supposed to be taking, and the
    nurse told me NOT to take the PE because it can constrict the blood
    vessles around the placenta.  She said as long as I still feel the baby
    moving, everything is ok, but not to take it anymore.  I called my
    friend and she was also taking the Sudafed PE and had another friend
    who was pregnant and had also taken it not knowing that there were 2
    different ones out there."

    It is important to know that due to the fact that original Sudafed is now behind the counter because illegal substances were being made from it, the makers of Sudafed have reformulated their product (now Sudafed PE) with a different type of decongestant called  Phenyleprine, which is a vasoconstrictor. This ingredient, while useful to help nasal congestion by constricting the sinus blood vessels could also conceivably constrict the blood vessels around the placenta
    in pregnant women.

    I read this story to my friend, Lori, she’s been a nurse for over 16 years and she definitely knew the differences of the Sudafeds when I read the article to her. While she does note that regular Sudafed has been safe for pregnant women for years, she highly recommends you always check with your doctor first. But what if your doctor and the pharmacist don’t agree don’t agree on the safety of certain medications?  Nurse Lori says, "Go with what the doctor says!" While pharmacists know all about drugs and medications only your doctors knows all about you!

    Jim, at Storkcalling, recently received a response to a letter he wrote to Pfizer Consumer Health Care, regarding the safety of their products while pregnant. You can read Pfizer’s response here.


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    Comments

    I tried not to take anything while I was pregnant. I didn't trust it, even if it said it was ok.


    I want to know if Sudafed for cold and cough is safe during pregnancy?? i am 5 months pregnant and took 2 Sudafed twice and i am quite worried now


    Thank you SO much for your post. I'm 37 weeks pregnant and have been avoiding medicine through my whole pregnancy. As luck would have it I just got a horrible cold and didn't want to risk being sick and being a germy mess when my baby arrived so I decided to take Sudafed PE – Nasal Decongestant. Right before I took it i found your article and realized that what I had purchased was not what my doctor had prescribed. I drove back to the drug store and got the regular kind. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!


    Cristy, you are so welcome. We are so glad that our story helped prevent such a mistake. Please let us know when your bundle of joy arrives. Hope your cold is behind you for that beautiful event. We hope to see you visiting all our "Shaks" in the future.


    thanks for the article! I have a terrible cold and my dr said it was ok to take sudafed as long as it didn't say extended release or releif but I'm a little hesitant about taking it now. I'm 14 weeks and have taken 2 pills yesterday and since I can't feel my baby move yet I'm just going to steer clear of sudafed until my dr appt next week. Thanks again!


    I'm 16 weeks pregnant and I've had a cold with a very bad cough for about a week now. I've been so afraid to take anything because I don't want to hurt my baby. My doctor told me the same thing that I can take sudafed the one where you have to get from the pharmacist. Well it was kind of late so they were closed so I just picked up what was on the shelf. I thought it would be ok to take. But I was so scared to take it though. I ended up having a really bad cough attack one night and I had to take something so I ended up just taking one pill of the sudafed. I've been freaking out ever since. And now that I've read your article I'm even more nervous. You know someone needs to come out with a medicine just for pregnant woman to take so we all know it will be safe.


    So what we're saying here is that the original Sudafed, the one that contains ingredients suitable for meth additcts is SAFER than the one with Phenylephrine? I think they're both bad. Pseudoeephedrine is a derivitave of ephedrine. It also has the potential to induce hypertention. It even says on wikipedia that decongestion techniques such as saline solution should be tried first. Makes sense to me.


    i had being taking sudafed pe but i knew there was something fishy about it i remember long time ago when i was pregnant with my first baby it was different i just called the pharmacy and they told me to go and ask for it they have it behind the counter and you have to sign for it im no doctor or pharmacist if they say sudafed pe is not good for my baby i trust them.


    Thank you for the article above. My wife is also in her 37th week and as luck would have it, she has the cold. We talked to the doctor and he indicated that he has been prescribing Sudafed for over 30 years and he did not see the difference and he reccomended we take the OTC sudafed which is the same in Tylenol Cold and Sinus. I knew there was something wrong in his statement. I checked with the pharmacist and he corroborated the story above. Thank you for helping validate the findings. Sincerely, Kunal.


    hey I am 34 weeks pregant and I have the worst cold ever I dont remeber it being this bad maybe because Im pregnant but it is the worst I called my doc and they said that I should be able to take sudafed regular and I've been takeing it for three nights now and thats the only thing that works for me thank god I red ur article I wont be taking this any moreI'll just have to deal with it


    Not sure I am understanding. Is the "regular" Sudafed for colds and the Sudafed that is now over the counter, the decongestant, one in the same?


    [...] Love Shak, Baby » Taking Sudafed PE While Pregnant [...]


    Sudafed PE and behind the counter will both constrict the blood vessels in the entire body. They both carry a pregnancy category C rating and both carry risks while taking for preganancy. The pharmacist was right in advising against the medication, pharmacists are the drug specialists not doctors.


    I am 13 weeks pregnant & i am really sick with broncatics i can’t stop coughing. Everytime i cough i pee & i can’t sleep either. I am worried what to do about taking sudafed pe. Is that med really safe for me to take while i am pregant? I would love to take something that helps me so i can sleep & relax. Any ideas?


    You need to talk with your doctor, Kelly. This post was first written in 2007 so medicines could have changed since then. If you don’t have a regular OB-GYN, call your local health department and let them know what’s going on. They can direct you to who you need to speak with. Good luck and congratulations!


    I am a Pharmacy Technician and I am currently pregnant with my 2nd child and my doctor gave me a list of medications that are safe in pregnancy.Pseudophedrine is safe after 12 weeks or pragnancy,but you can only get this from a Pharmacy.Do Not take the Sudafed from the shelf.Sudafed is the name of the medication that the company chose,but it is not the active ingredients name.So always check the ingredients in the box and when in doubt call your doctor or a nurse line before taking anything.Sometimes medications cannot be avoided during pregnancy,but if possible try to avoid them.But remember look for Pseudophedrine as an only ingredient and if its not listed,then do not take it.
    Take Care all of you!


    No one wants to comment but I got wrapped up in the change of fomulation without the updated information to the public about sudafed and preganancy. Mysteriously, I had a still birth at 9 months with only 10 days away from schedule due date after taking Sudafed for a month. My doctor knew I was taking the medication.