How to use doxylamine succinate while pregnant

Written by erin carson
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If you suffer from insomnia, a common side effect of pregnancy, many health care providers recommend Doxylamine Succinate, an antihistamine marketed in the United States as Unisom Nighttime Sleep-Aid, to temporarily alleviate your discomfort. The FDA classifies Doxylamine Succinate as a Class B medication, according to their pharmaceutical pregnancy categories, which means that tests conducted on animals demonstrate that the medication is probably safe to use during pregnancy. If you decide to use Doxylamine Succinate during pregnancy, ensure you use it safely by talking to your doctor first and taking a few extra precautions.

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Things you need

  • Unisom Nighttime Sleep-Aid

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  1. 1

    Discuss taking Doxylamine Succinate with your doctor and investigate possible alternatives. Since the FDA has not classified any sleep aids as completely safe to use during pregnancy, you will want to carefully compare the risks vs. the potential benefits of taking this medication.

  2. 2

    Purchase the Doxylamine Succinate from your local pharmacy. Ensure you buy the 25 mg version of Unisom and not SleepGels or SleepMelts that contain diphenhydramine HCl, which according to BabyCenter's Medical Advisory Board should not be used by pregnant women.

  3. 3

    Take Doxylamine Succinate about 30 minutes before you go to sleep for the night. Make sure you can stay asleep seven to eight hours after taking it since it will make you extremely sleepy. Dizziness might occur if you get up too soon after taking the medication. Follow the labelled instructions for usage, ensuring you never take more of the product than recommended.

  4. 4

    Contact your doctor if you feel the need to take Doxylamine Succinate for longer than two weeks. Sleeping pills can be habit forming, and according to OB-GYN Dr. John Larsen, your baby can get addicted in utero and suffer from withdrawal symptoms after birth. Consider alternative insomnia remedies such as chamomile tea, hot baths and other soothing nighttime rituals.

  5. 5

    Refrain from taking Doxylamine Succinate during your last trimester. Medications taken shortly before birth potentially remain in the baby's system after birth. According to the Mayo Clinic, antihistamines are unlikely to cause serious problems, but they can make newborns jittery and cause excitability and irritability.

Tips and warnings

  • Since Doxylamine Succinate is excreted through breast milk, it is not safe to take this medication while breastfeeding.
  • Some practitioners recommend taking Unisom and vitamin B6 to counteract morning sickness. Talk to your doctor before attempting this to ensure the safety of this practice.

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