Posts Tagged ‘anaphylaxis’

Fall allergies

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

allergies2The air is cooler and makes for good sleeping at night. The pollens and molds, however, make some of us suffer during the day.

If this happens to you and you’re thinking of being tested for allergies but hope to become pregnant soon, either test before you become pregnant or wait until after you have your baby. Allergy skin testing is not done during pregnancy because there is a small risk that anaphylaxis may occur. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can include hives, swelling of the tongue and throat, possibly loss of consciousness. During pregnancy, a severe case of anaphylaxis might decrease blood and oxygen flowing to the uterus, possibly harming the fetus.

If you already are taking allergy shots, tell your provider you’re thinking about pregnancy. Depending on your personal situation, your doc may choose to continue the shots full strength, dilute them to 50% or discontinue them. It’s good to have a plan in place before you conceive.

In the meantime, what can you do? Always ask your provider what’s safe for you before taking something. As a general rule, nasal saline (salt water) is good for keeping your nasal passages moist and helping you blow away the nasties. Nasal steroids should be avoided unless prescribed by your doc. Many antihistamines generally are considered safe to use. Decongestants, however, should be avoided during the first trimester due to a possible association with an intestinal defect in the fetus.

If you have a question about the safety of a medication during pregnancy or breastfeeding (over-the-counter or prescription), contact MotherToBaby, a service of OTIS, the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists.

Controlling asthma during pregnancy

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

inhaler2Asthma is a lung disease that causes your airways to tighten up, making it hard for you to breathe. Asthma affects 4 to 8 out of every 100 pregnant women (4 to 8 percent). If you keep your asthma under control, it probably won’t cause any problems during your pregnancy. So, it’s really important to keep all your prenatal care appointments and work with your health care provider to keep your asthma in check. If you don’t control your asthma, you may be at risk for a serious health problem called preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a certain kind of high blood pressure that only pregnant women get and can result in poor fetal growth and other pregnancy complications.

Your health care provider needs to monitor your lungs while you’re pregnant so he can adjust your asthma medicines, if needed. Tell your provider if your symptoms improve or get worse. By limiting your contact with allergens and other asthma triggers, you may need to take less medicine to control your symptoms.

Lots of women ask if it’s safe to take asthma medicine during pregnancy. If asthma symptoms don’t stop or get worse, they can be a risk to you and your baby. If you were taking asthma medicine before pregnancy, don’t stop taking it without talking to your provider first. If you’re diagnosed with asthma during pregnancy, talk to your provider about the best way to treat or manage it.

If you’re already getting allergy shots, you can keep taking them during pregnancy. But if you aren’t getting allergy shots, don’t start taking them when you’re pregnant because you could have a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

Asthma symptoms often change during pregnancy. Sometimes they get better and sometimes they get worse. We don’t really understand what causes these changes. If your asthma is not well controlled or if your asthma is moderate to severe, your provider may recommend repeated ultrasounds to check to make sure your baby’s growing normally.

Only about 1 in 10 pregnant women with asthma (10 percent) have symptoms during labor and birth. Take your usual asthma medicines during labor and birth. If you still have asthma symptoms, don’t panic, your health care provider can help control them.

Want to know more? Read our info on asthma during pregnancy, that includes symptoms, common triggers and how to avoid them, treatments, and medications during breastfeeding.

Seasonal allergies -when to get tested for them

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

allergiesI live in New York State and this year spring is just outdoing itself – every flowering shrub, bulb, bush, blade of grass, flower, tree and elegant weed is struttin’ it’s stuff and tootin’ Mother Nature’s horn.  I mean it’s gorgeous outside!  And I can’t breathe.

Do you guys suffer the attack of the pollen monster?  I have allergies that bring me nasal congestion, itchy eyes, runny nose and post nasal drip.  I’ve never gotten tested for specific allergies, but on days like today, I’m rethinking that.  If you’re thinking of being tested for allergies but hope to become pregnant soon, either test before you become pregnant or wait until after you have your baby.  Allergy skin testing is not done during pregnancy because there is a small risk that anaphylaxis may occur. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can include hives, swelling of the tongue and throat, possibly loss of consciousness.  During pregnancy, a severe case of anaphylaxis might decrease blood and oxygen flowing to the uterus, possibly harming the fetus.

If you already are taking allergy shots, speak with your provider about the possibility of pregnancy.  Depending on your personal situations, your provider may choose to continue the shots full strength, dilute them to 50% or discontinue them.  It’s good to have a plan in place before you conceive.

So is it OK to take medication during this time?  Always ask your provider what’s safe for you before taking something.  As a general rule, nasal saline (salt water) is good for keeping your nasal passages moist and helping you blow away the nasties. Nasal steroids should be avoided unless prescribed by your provider.  Many antihistamines generally are considered safe to use.  Decongestants should be avoided during the first trimester due to a possible association with an intestinal defect in the fetus.  If you have a question about the safety of a medication during pregnancy or breastfeeding (OTC or Rx), contact OTIS, the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists.