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Can You Use Vicks While Pregnant? Choose A Safe Product For Colds

can you use vicks while pregnant

Pregnant women must be careful about everything they put in and on their bodies. 

Suddenly there’s a very long list of things that cannot be ingested or used once you’re pregnant, and it can be very overwhelming and even scary to try to figure out how to treat cold symptoms, such as sore throat, stuffy nose, runny nose, coughing, and sneezing.

Vicks Vaporub is a topical jelly substance that people have used for many years to treat common cold symptoms. Many pregnant women wonder what, if anything, they can take to ease these symptoms while their immune system is stretched thin.

In this article, we’ll talk about Vicks Vaporub, other products made by the company, and what steps can be taken when you have cold symptoms during flu season. 

The biggest question we’ll answer is: Can you use Vicks while pregnant?

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Can you use Vicks while pregnant?

Depending upon who you ask, you’ll get all sorts of answers about what expectant mothers can eat, use, and treat themselves with when they are ill. Most of the advice you’ll get is made by well-meaning people who are simply concerned with the well-being of pregnant women and their unborn children.

However, just because your neighbor, mail carrier, hairstylist, grandmother, or sister tells you something about what to do about that sore throat, it doesn’t mean that it’s true.

Ingredients to avoid during pregnancy

Across the board, you should avoid certain ingredients when you have a cold or illness and are pregnant. Always be sure to read ingredient labels, and consider keeping a list of ingredients you should avoid with you anytime you are at the store or pharmacy and looking at medications, whether in pill form, liquid form, or topical.

Nine out of ten expectant mothers will have to take medications while pregnant, so knowing what to avoid to keep yourself and your baby safe during pregnancy is very important.

1. Ephedrine

There are simply no studies available as to how the use of this medication ingredient affects pregnancy or a baby. Studies involving pregnancy and this ingredient are largely not viewed as ethical; therefore, there is minimal data.

In short, we just don’t know how this ingredient, when present in medications, can affect an unborn child. As such, most doctors recommend that you avoid it.

2. Phenylephrine hydrochloride

Especially dangerous for women at high risk for preeclampsia, this ingredient can reduce blood flow during pregnancy, putting both the mother and the baby at risk.

When pregnant, your blood volume is higher, and the need for strong blood flow is vital. Any ingredient or substance that could compromise that process should be avoided.

can you use vicks while pregnant

Vicks makes many different products

When you ask someone, “can you use Vicks while pregnant?” 

You must specify which product you are talking about. While Vicks Vaporub may be the first thing that comes to mind for some people, you should remember that the company makes many different products, and not all of them are safe for pregnant women.

1. Vicks Vaporub

The main ingredients in Vicks Vaporub are eucalyptus oil, which acts as a cough suppressant; camphor, which acts as a cough suppressant and analgesic; and menthol. These are all ingredients that are considered safe for pregnant women.

Eucalyptus oil has long been known to be a reasonably natural cough suppressant that is very effective and safe for most people.

Other ingredients listed for this product are cedar leaf oil, turpentine oil, nutmeg oil, thymol, and petrolatum.

While all these ingredients are considered safe during pregnancy when used topically, you should only use Vicks or other products as recommended on the label and as directed by your doctor.

2. Vicks Inhaler

The Vicks inhaler is used to treat congestion of the nasal passages and has many of the same ingredients as the Vapor rub product. It is suitable for clearing congestion and stuffy nose commonly associated with the common cold, hay fever, and other allergies.

3. Vicks First Defence Nasal Spray

Much like saline nose drops, this nasal spray doesn’t have any actual active ingredients. 

It’s used to hydrate the nostrils and help soothe and clear out the nose. It also latches onto and removes some bacteria in the nose, which can help your immune system recover.

4. Vicks Cough drops

These cough drops have few active ingredients and are typically deemed safe during pregnancy. However, it is recommended that you get your doctor’s approval before you use these drops to soothe a sore throat or dry cough.

If you are sick and unsure which Vicks products you can use, you can substitute these drops with gargling warm salt water until you speak with your doctor.

5. Vicks Dayquil and Nyquil

The Vapor rub may be okay to use, and it’s alright for sore muscles, but what about those severe body aches that make it so difficult to sleep when you’re ill? Can you use Vicks while pregnant when it comes to the actual medications?

Vicks products like Dayquil and Nyquil are used by people who aren’t pregnant to relieve congestion and provide overall relief during a cold. 

Consult your healthcare provider before you use these products. While considered generally safe by many, it’s always best to speak directly with your doctor to ensure that it’s safe for your exact situation.

6. Vicks Sinex Severe Nasal spray

The active ingredient in this medication is oxymetazoline. 

Like many ingredients in over-the-counter medicines, little is known about its effects on pregnancy. It can be completely safe or put a pregnant woman at risk.

It’s recommended that you speak to your physician before you use this medication.

7. Vicks Sinex Severe Decongestant Capsules

This medication is not considered to be safe during pregnancy due to its active ingredient in it. 

Whether it’s your first trimester, second, or third, it is not recommended that you use this product to soothe the symptoms of illness.

Can Vicks cause miscarriage?

There has long been a myth that Vicks vapor rub is unsafe to use during pregnancy because the ingestion of the ingredient camphor is harmful during pregnancy.

While this is true, keep in mind that the vapor rub is a topical solution, and you are not supposed to ingest it at any time. The ingestion of camphor can indeed cause miscarriage, but you should never swallow, eat, or ingest the vapor rub in any way.

As long as you use the Vapor rub as intended and as the label instructs, you should be perfectly safe during pregnancy to use it.

Vicks Vaporub during your pregnancy’s first trimester

Vapor rub can be beneficial during any stage of pregnancy, especially if you are ill. 

Vapor rubs, when used topically and the way they are intended, are safe. 

You can use Vicks Vaporub for many things outside of being sick, such as toenail fungus, and to prevent stretch marks!

If you are apprehensive about using vapor rub or other Vicks products when you have a cold or the flu, simply make sure you speak to your doctors.

can you use vicks while pregnant

Other ways to prevent or treat a cold

When you don’t feel well, most people hope for relief. 

And while we’ve confirmed Vicks is safe during pregnancy, you still may be apprehensive about its use or simply looking for alternatives to treat or prevent a cold or the flu.

You can employ the following ideas that will benefit you when you are sick and pregnant.

1. Nasal strips

If you have issues with congestion, can’t breathe at night in bed, or want to open up those nostrils, nasal strips can help. They aren’t medicated, and they can help you get better sleep.

2. A healthy diet

Maintaining a healthy diet throughout pregnancy is essential. Make sure you drink lots of water and eat soft foods like chicken soup when you are ill so that you won’t hurt your throat further.

3. A warm bath

Soaking in a tub can help you to relax, soothe your sore body, and more. The steam can help your cold by doing the same thing menthol does: opening up your nasal passages.

Just make sure you don’t use hot water that can scald you. A warm bath is fine, but you shouldn’t use too much hot water in the tub when pregnant.

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Conclusion

Always consult with your doctor whenever you think you need medications for a cold or sore and ill body. 

When applied topically, menthol can help alleviate symptoms associated with common illnesses that people may suffer in the winter and during the cold season.

Always talk to your doctor before starting new medications to alleviate symptoms, especially when pregnant. And remember to eat healthily, take care of yourself, drink plenty of water, and get lots of rest.

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