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Allergy medications are sometimes recommended during pregnancy. However, before you take an allergy medication, consider ways to reduce your symptoms, including:
Nasal irrigation. Once a day or as needed, fill a neti pot with a saline nasal solution or specially prepared water. Then tilt your head sideways over the sink and place the spout of the neti pot in your upper nostril. Breathing through your open mouth, pour in the liquid so it drains through your lower nostril. Repeat on the other side.
Water should be distilled or sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or passed through a filter designed to trap potentially infectious organisms.
If you're considering taking an allergy medication, talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits. To manage mild allergy symptoms, he or she might recommend an oral antihistamine such as loratadine (Claritin, Alavert) or cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy).
For moderate to severe symptoms, your health care provider might recommend a nonprescription corticosteroid spray at the lowest effective dose, in addition to an oral antihistamine. Options include budesonide nasal spray (Rhinocort Allergy) and fluticasone nasal spray (Flonase Allergy Relief).
Mary Marnach, M.D.
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