Medications for Sinus Infection While Pregnant

A sinus infection during pregnancy can make you miserable. The yellow or green nasal discharge, congestion, fever, headache, facial tenderness, cough and sore throat that are classic symptoms will make you want to take medication and make it all go away. If you do feel these symptoms and you are pregnant, be sure to call your doctor. There are medications that he can give you that will have you feeling better in a day or two. In the meantime, there are also several home remedies that can give you some relief that are also safe for moms-to-be.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.


In some cases, an antibiotic is necessary to treat your sinus infection. Be sure to let your doctor know that you are pregnant, and he will prescribe you an antibiotic that is safe for your developing baby. Some antibiotics are safe during pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic, including amoxicillin, ampicillin, clindamycin and penicillin. Antibiotics tetracycline, doxycycline and minocycline are unsafe for a pregnant woman. These can cause damage to the baby's teeth or to the woman's liver.

Antihistamines and Decongestants

Antihistamines and decongestants can relieve allergic symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, which may exacerbate your sinus infection. Some doctors, according to the American Family Physician, will not recommend antihistamines during pregnancy, because their effects on the fetus have not been studied extensively 1. Diphenhydramine, or Benadryl, is considered a relatively safe antihistamine during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends chlorpheniramine, which is Chlor-Trimeton, and tripelennamine as antihistamines safe to use during pregnancy. Pseudoephedrine is considered a safe decongestant after the first trimester, according to the American Family Physician 1.

Fever/Pain Reducer

If you experience a fever or pain with your sinus infection, the American Family Physicians recommend acetaminophen, or Tylenol, as a safe analgesic to use during pregnancy 1. Ibuprofen, commonly known as Advil or Motrin, as well as naproxen, or Aleve, are not recommended during the third trimester. Aspirin is not recommended at any stage of pregnancy.

Home Remedies

Some of the symptoms of a sinus infection can be relieved by home remedies, which pose no danger to a pregnant woman or her unborn baby. The Pacific Lutheran University suggests using the steam from a hot shower or from a bowl of hot water to relieve nasal stuffiness and a runny nose 3. It also suggests using a saline, or saltwater, solution to rinse your nostrils. Using a humidifier and drinking more fluids will help a sore throat caused by post nasal drip from your inflamed sinuses, and warm or cool compresses on your head can help any headache that your sinus infection causes.