Can I Take Zicam While Pregnant?

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February 8, 2024 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

No, Zicam is not safe to use during pregnancy, but it’s still important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medication while pregnant. Pregnancy can be a challenging time, and dealing with cold or allergy symptoms can make it even more difficult.

It’s natural to want to find relief, but it’s crucial to consider the safety of any medication before taking it while pregnant. Zicam is a popular over-the-counter medication for cold and allergy relief, and many pregnant individuals wonder if it is safe for them to use.

Before deciding to take Zicam while pregnant, it’s essential to understand the potential risks and benefits and to have a conversation with a healthcare provider. This article will address the safety of Zicam during pregnancy and guide for making informed decisions about managing cold and allergy symptoms while expecting.

Zicam and Its Ingredients

Zicam comes in various forms, including nasal sprays, oral mist, lozenges, and rapid melts. The active ingredient in most Zicam products is zinc, a mineral essential for numerous bodily functions and the immune system. However, the safety of zinc, especially in medicinal forms and dosages, is a concern for pregnant women due to the potential for overconsumption and its effects on fetal development.

Medical Advice and Guidelines

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) provides guidelines for the use of medications during pregnancy, emphasizing the importance of consulting healthcare providers before starting or continuing any medication, including over-the-counter products like Zicam. The FDA does not strictly regulate supplements and over-the-counter remedies in the same way as prescription medications, which means less formal testing and understanding of their effects during pregnancy.

Potential Risks and Considerations

  • Zinc Overdosage: While zinc is vital for both maternal and fetal health, excessive intake can lead to complications such as copper deficiency, neurological issues, and gastrointestinal distress. The tolerable upper intake level for zinc in adults, including pregnant women, is set at 40 mg per day. It’s essential to consider all sources of zinc, including dietary intake and other supplements, to avoid surpassing this limit.
  • Nasal Sprays and Congestion Relief: Some Zicam products designed for nasal application have raised concerns in the past due to ingredients that might have been associated with a loss of smell (anosmia). Pregnant women are advised to be particularly cautious with nasal sprays and consult healthcare professionals for safer alternatives.
  • Immune System Considerations: The immune system functions differently during pregnancy, and while boosting immunity might seem beneficial, it’s important to approach immune-modulating substances with care to avoid unintended effects on pregnancy.

Alternatives To Zicam During Pregnancy

When pregnant, it’s essential to be cautious about the medications and remedies you use, including those for cold and flu symptoms. If you’re wondering about alternatives to Zicam during pregnancy, rest assured that there are safe options available to help you manage your symptoms.

Natural Remedies For Cold And Flu Symptoms

Natural remedies offer a gentle approach to managing cold and flu symptoms during pregnancy. Consider the following options:

  • Eucalyptus oil: inhaling steam with a few drops of eucalyptus oil can help alleviate congestion.
  • Honey and lemon: a soothing combination to ease a sore throat and cough.
  • Ginger tea: can help relieve nausea and provide warmth and comfort.
  • Saline nasal spray: helps clear nasal passages without the use of medication.

Safe Over-the-counter Options

Certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications are considered safe for use during pregnancy. Always consult with your healthcare provider before taking any OTC medication. Some safe options may include:

  1. Acetaminophen: for fever and mild aches and pains.
  2. Dextromethorphan: for a persistent cough.
  3. Chlorpheniramine: an antihistamine for allergy symptoms.
  4. Sterile saline nasal spray: for nasal congestion relief.

Consulting With Your Healthcare Provider

Before taking any medication, especially during pregnancy, it’s crucial to have an open and honest discussion with your healthcare provider. This includes conversations about using Zicam while pregnant. Zicam is an over-the-counter medication commonly used for relieving cold symptoms, but its safety during pregnancy needs to be evaluated on an individual basis.

Getting Professional Advice

When considering Zicam use during pregnancy, it’s essential to seek professional advice from your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific health situation. Additionally, discussing the potential risks and benefits of Zicam use during pregnancy with your obstetrician or midwife is important for making an informed decision.

Tips For Managing Cold And Flu Symptoms

Experiencing cold and flu symptoms during pregnancy can be challenging, as certain medications may not be safe for use. However, there are several effective home remedies and practices that can help alleviate symptoms and promote a faster recovery. It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or trying new remedies while pregnant. Here are some tried and tested tips to help manage cold and flu symptoms safely.

FAQs: Take Zicam While Pregnant

Can I Take Zicam While Pregnant?

It is not recommended to take Zicam while pregnant as it contains zinc, which may not be safe for the developing fetus.

What Are The Potential Risks Of Taking Zicam During Pregnancy?

Taking Zicam during pregnancy may increase the risk of adverse effects on the baby’s development and can potentially harm the mother as well.

Can I Take Zinc Drops While Pregnant?

Yes, you can take zinc drops while pregnant, but it’s important to stay within the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for zinc, which is 11 mg per day for pregnant women (SOURCE). Excessive zinc intake can lead to adverse effects. Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement during pregnancy.

Is Zinc Cold Therapy Safe During Pregnancy?

Zinc cold therapy, commonly used to reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms, should be approached with caution during pregnancy (SOURCE). While zinc is an essential mineral, the safety of higher doses or specific formulations used in cold therapies is less clear for pregnant women. It’s crucial to consult a healthcare provider before using any form of zinc cold therapy during pregnancy to ensure it is safe for both the mother and the developing fetus.


Zicam is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Pregnant women need to exercise caution and consult with their healthcare provider before taking any medications, including Zicam. While there is limited research available on its safety during pregnancy, it is best to err on the side of caution.

Your healthcare provider can provide you with personalized advice and guidance based on your circumstances. It is always important to prioritize the health and well-being of both the mother and the baby during pregnancy.

About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …