The biggest problem dealt by mothers-to-be during their pregnancy period is the inability to have a good sleep and plenty of rest when it is most needed. Back aches, full bladders, bulging bellies and anxious thoughts about the baby’s well-being, all prevent women from sleeping peacefully during the time of pregnancy. In fact, did you know that the problem of sleep deprivation is found in 75% of expecting women and strikes primarily during the third trimester of pregnancy? So what can you do in such situations? Is Unisom safe and helpful?
Can I Take Unisom While Pregnant for Insomnia?
According to FDA’s directives, Unisom (the generic name being doxylamine) is considered safe for pregnant women. The dosage and side effects of medicines vary with each person and only your doctor can advise you on these aspects. However, it is always advisable to speak to the doctor and not self-medicate yourself during pregnancy.
The FDA has created 5 categories of medicines, namely A, B, C, D and X on the basis of safety aspects of these medications in case of pregnant women. Unisom has been placed under the category B by FDA which implies that the medicine is relatively safe for use in pregnant women since it has shown no side effects in animal trials of the medicine. However, classification of Unisom in Category B also means that there have been no conclusive human trials of this medicine to prove that the medicine is perfectly safe for long-term use in pregnant women in the first trimester or beyond.
The first trimester is the period when your baby grows and develops all their important organs. Hence, extreme caution must be adopted during this period to ensure the baby does not suffer from any birth defects due to wrong medications.
How Does Unisom Work to Relieve Uncomfortable Symptoms?
Like the commonly used drug Benadryl, the primary component of Unisom is an antihistamine which blocks the production of histamine and acetylcholine in the body and thus makes you feel sleepier. Benadryl is administered if lack of sleep is the sole trouble faced by a pregnant woman, but Unisom also alleviates the symptoms of nausea and vomiting along with insomnia during pregnancy.
Histamines also produce allergic symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, itching, etc. which are prevented by antihistamines like Unisom. So, taking Unisom while pregnant will also provide you protection against allergic symptoms.
How to Take Unisom
Every medication has its own set of dosage guidelines. The following steps will guide you how to use Unisom (doxylamine):
- Go through the directions mentioned in the product package of Unisom and consult the pharmacist in case any confusion arises. Use Unisom as per the package instructions and only divert if advised by the doctor.
- Take Unisom orally with or without food. In case of stomach problems, Unisom can be ingested with food or milk. However, seek advice of a reputed clinician before administering Unisom to yourself or someone else.
- Unisom is also available in a chewable form which needs to be chewed properly before swallowing.
- When taking the liquid form of Unisom, do not use a household spoon for taking the dose since that does not provide accurate measurements. Use a measuring device to measure the correct dosage as advised by the doctor.
- Do not try to self-medicate yourself since only a doctor can decide the dosage that is optimal for you based on your age, medical condition and other similar factors.
- Take the medication half an hour before bedtime.
- In case you miss a dose of Unisom while pregnant, take it as soon as you remember. However, if the time is too close to a second dose, forget about the first dosage and follow the normal routine.
Are There Any Side Effects of Taking Unisom?
The following are the potential side effects of using Unisom while pregnant:
- Dizziness and drowsiness
- Parched throat, mouth and nose
- Thickening of mucus in nose and throat
- In rare cases, severe allergic reactions, convulsions, hallucinations, palpitations, tremors, swelling of face or parts of it, wheezing, etc. may follow. This demands emergency medical care.
Moms’ Experiences of Using Unisom While Pregnant
“Unisom really helped me cope with pregnancy related stress during my first trimester and I continue taking it during my final stages of pregnancy. One tablet of Unisom is enough to put me to sleep within 15-20 minutes of taking it. Unisom really works for me!”
“I started suffering from terrible bouts of nausea and vomiting during my pregnancy, and it was followed by many sleepless nights. Unisom came to my rescue and ushered in relief in my life. I would really thank this medication for helping me overcome some terrible pregnancy related side-effects!”
“My tight work schedule made it very difficult for me to take rest during my pregnancy. Unisom worked wonders for me during this time. My gynaecologist prescribed me this medicine and it really helped me get over the pregnancy related stress.”