Sudafed and Pregnancy – Get the Facts

The truth is that it is quite common for women to catch a cold during their pregnancy and so they may consider the option of Sudafed and pregnancy. It is good to know that Sudafed in fact is pseudoephedrine. For a long time it has been considered to be safe for pregnant women, but doctors aren’t sure anymore.

Sudafed and Pregnancy

What to know about pregnancy and Sudafed?

In our days women should talk to their health care provider before taking any medication of this kind. They need to consider the risks and benefits and take the medication only in case the benefits outweigh the risks. Pseudoephedrine is believed to affect the development of the blood vessels and to cause vessel constriction.


If you are taking Sudafed when being pregnant it is possible for the baby to be affected by gastroschisis. This is an abnormality of the abdominal wall that leads to the contents of the abdomen protruding into the rest of the body. Usually the abnormality is quite small.

However as a result of taking Sudafed while being pregnant the stomach or the rectum could be exposed. Malformations of this kind are always noticed upon birth. It is possible to notice the malformation at earlier stages with the help of an ultrasound.

Associated problems

If pregnant women take Sudafed and the baby is affected by gastroschisis, there might be some associated problems. These include intrauterine growth restriction, preterm birth and cardiac problems. In this case the bowel isn’t contained in the abdomen, but it can float freely in the amniotic fluid.

In case the Sudafed taken during pregnancy leads to problems of this kind, the amniotic fluid may damage the bowels. As a result the bowels suffer growth failure and they become matted, thickened and shortened. All this leads to a diminished function.

What does this all mean?

If Sudafed is taken by pregnant women it might cause small intestinal artesia and gastroschisis, as it has been mentioned before. In this case the baby may require prolonged hospital care. The bad news is that the little one could face long term problems. The issues can also be caused by vascular disruption.

Risk period

Usually the risk period refers to the period of time when the baby is developing at the fastest pace. This means that pregnant women shouldn’t take Sudafed during the first 10 weeks of their pregnancy. This is the time period when the defects are the most likely to develop.


According to one of the latest studies regarding Sudafed taken when being pregnant the babies of the women who take pseudoephedrine during their pregnancy are more likely to be affected by defects. The risks are even higher if women take pseudoephedrine in combination with acetaminophen.

For sure you know that Sudafed during pregnancy has its advantages, but in some cases it’s just not worth it. All parents would like to make sure that their little one will be healthy and so you should take some other kind of medication.


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