Can You Take Nyquil While Pregnant

Can You Take Nyquil While Pregnant

Every once in a while, all of us fall ill, it’s simply an inherent aspect of life. During such times, our usual response might be to hurry to the pharmacy for some cold and flu treatments.

The thing is, when you’re pregnant, you’re likely checking and double checking all ingredients of things that you’re consuming and wondering to yourself – is this allowed? Can I take this? Will it harm the baby?

With such a normal thing to happen, getting sick while you’re pregnant is a real chance, so asking if you can take Nyquil while you’re pregnant is a good question. 

Nyquil Severe Cold And Flu contains ingredients that potentially can harm your baby and lead to problems like birth defects. Other Nyquil products may be safe if your doctor or pharmacist has advised you to use them during pregnancy.

This guide will take you through all of your questions regarding Nyquill and pregnancy – answering if it’s safe to take during pregnancy and touching upon other helpful pieces of advice. 

What Is Nyquil?

For the uninitiated, Nyquil is a common cold and flu remedy that you can buy over the counter, made by US company Vicks. It aims to help problems like a sore throat, sinuses problems, pains and aches that are associated with the common cold and helps to get you to sleep. 

You can buy Nyquil in a variety of different formats such as a liquid or a gel, depending on your needs. As Nyquil acts as a trinity of pain relief, cough suppressant and an antihistamine, it can lead to drowsiness. 

This can help some people with the flu because it allows them to get a great night’s sleep and getting enough sleep when sick is important as it will allow the body to recuperate and detoxify. 

Because of its effects, people have often wondered if it is safe to consume if you’re on certain medications, if you’re young and if you are pregnant. 

Is Nyquil Safe To Consume While Pregnant?

The answer to this question depends on which type of Nyquil you’re planning to use. There are some versions of Nyquil products that are considered safe to use while pregnant, whereas there are others that come with some warnings. 

The basic answer is, Nyquil products that are NOT Nyquil Severe Cold And Flu are safe to use during pregnancy, but Nyquil Severe Cold And Flu contains ingredients that potentially can harm your baby and lead to problems like birth defects. 

This product contains two ingredients that are considered unsafe; phenylephrine and alcohol. We know that consuming alcohol whilst pregnant is discouraged and can harm your baby with potentially brain damage or other birth defects – but what about phenylephrine?

Phenylephrine acts as a decongestant and as such, can restrict or narrow the blood vessels to try and prevent severe coughing and sneezing or runny noses. Women in their first trimester are told not to take medication that contains phenylephrine.

This is because it’s possible that the fetus might not be getting enough oxygen and as a result, the baby might not develop properly or survive. 

Having said that, in later stages of pregnancy – you can speak with a doctor to discuss options because the medicine should only affect the nasal passages, but only a doctor or trained professional will be able to provide clear advice on this subject for you. 

What About Basic Nyquil?


Other than the Severe Cold And Flu product, the other Nyquil products contain common ingredients that some people might be worried about when they’re pregnant. Dextromethorphan for example. However, it is considered safe to consume while pregnant but can have side effects.

These side effects (for you) can include anxiety, vomiting, pains in the stomach, extreme drowsiness, nausea and feeling light headed. Although these are not welcome side effects for yourself, they should not harm your body. 

If they persist though, you should stop taking Nyquil and speak with your doctor. 

Another common ingredient in Nyquil is doxylamine and some side effects as a result of consumption of this can include dryness in the sinuses and mouth, severe headache, nausea and overstimulation. 

Again, these side effects, while they aren’t nice – should not be harmful to your baby, but you should consider stopping taking the medication and speaking directly to your doctor as soon as possible.

Is Nyquil Safe For Everyone?

Nyquil might not necessarily be safe for everyone. We’ve seen that there are ingredients in the Severe Cold And Flu product that can be harmful to consume while pregnant, but other people might have problems consuming this medicine too. 

Those with high blood pressure are encouraged to speak with a doctor prior to purchasing these kinds of medications due to their effects on narrowing the blood vessels. This can potentially make the condition worse and lead to worsened symptoms. 

Equally, abuse of Nyquil or taking Nyquil with alcohol can potentially lead to liver damage or even liver failure. If you are an alcoholic, you should speak with a doctor first in order to take medication safely and to try and reduce your alcohol intake. 

Abuse of Nyquil is considered taking more than four doses in a single day. Some people believe if they take more doses of Nyquil, that it will definitely help their cold and flu problems – but in fact, it could be making it worse. 

Moreover, the symptoms of cold and flu might not necessarily be caused by a virus – so, if you have taken this medication and have not recovered at all or continue to experience problems after a few days, you should speak with your doctor immediately. 


Looking after yourself and what goes into your body while you are pregnant is incredibly important. Everything you take can potentially have an impact on your baby, so being cautious is a good idea. 

As some Nyquil products contain alcohol, you should avoid them as alcohol can lead to birth defects, low birth weight and disabilities. As always, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor before taking any medication. 

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