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What Are the Uses of Promethazine in Pregnancy?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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Promethazine in pregnancy can help control severe nausea and vomiting. Many patients experience some nausea in pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, and it is not usually a threat to mother or fetus unless it becomes excessive. At an extreme, women may develop a condition termed hyperemesis gravidarum, a potentially life-threatening pregnancy complication that may cause things like broken blood vessels, kidney damage, and low birth weight for the fetus.

Achieving greater control over nausea and vomiting in pregnancy can keep patients more comfortable and reduce the risk of problems with the fetus. For patients experiencing low-level morning sickness, tips like changing dietary habits and avoiding exercise can help. Some patients experience benefits from complementary and alternative medicine like herbs and massage. For others, medications are needed to bring the situation under control.

One of the first choices is promethazine in pregnancy, because the medication has a relatively low risk to the developing fetus. A medical professional may recommend this medication to a patient who is experiencing severe nausea and vomiting that cannot be controlled by other means, especially if it is accompanied by issues like weight loss and burst blood vessels in the eyes. While there are some risks to taking the medication, the benefits generally outweigh these, because failing to address the mother’s condition could cause severe pregnancy complications.

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Drowsiness is a common side effect. Women taking promethazine in pregnancy may want to wait and see how they respond to it before operating heavy machinery or engaging in other activities that require focus and attention. As they get used to the medication and learn how they feel after taking it, they can decide which activities would be safe for them. Patients who don’t feel better while taking promethazine in pregnancy or who develop intolerable side effects as a result of the medication may be offered other options to help manage their nausea and vomiting.

It can be difficult to distinguish between different levels of morning sickness and true hyperemesis gravidarum. Doctors evaluate patients on a case by case basis and consider factors that might affect the health of the pregnancy when deciding how to approach treatment of severe morning sickness. If they feel promethazine in pregnancy would be appropriate and useful, they can discuss it with patients. People with concerns about the medication can ask about available alternatives and options to see if another choice might be better for them.

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