Pregnancy is a physiological state when many of the drugs are contraindicated, keeping in mind the health of both mother and the unborn child. This is because the benefits of the medicine are also accompanied with harmful effects on the unborn child.
Vicks nasal spray contains oxymetazoline as a key ingredient along with chlorhexidine HCl, these agents are sufficiently potent in nature, not tolerated by the foetus growing in the womb. In non UK countries, it may also contain phenyl ephrine HCL as a medicinal agent. These drugs belong to the pregnancy category C.
USFDA for the welfare of the health of the patients, categorizes the medicinal agents so as to understand the feasibility of their use in pregnancy. Pregnancy category C is a group of medicinal agents that does not have clarity of their use in pregnancy. Clinically, there might have not been any reports of risk to foetuses but the complete safety of the fetus after use of these drugs is not assured. The clinical studies of these drugs are more or less confined to animal studies alone and do not give any information for their effects in humans. Therefore, the safety of using these drugs has to be decided only by comparing the effects either positive or negative in animals. However, in case the doctor feels the benefits of Vicks nasal spray outweighs the risks involved during pregnancy, Vicks nasal spray may be administered.
According to the small recent studies, the safest medicine used as nasal decongestant is oxymetazoline. The side effects of oxymetazoline is very less as it hardly enters the systemic circulation because most of the drug gets used up in the nasal cavity.
In case you are pregnant or suspect being pregnant, think before using the Vicks nasal spray in to the nasal cavity. Please consider consulting the doctor for their insight and advice. Even the nursing women are advised to follow the warning signs as taken by the pregnant women in using Vicks nasal spray.
In case your pregnancy is complicated, problems in placental problems, weak muscle activity in the uterus, high blood pressure, high lipid profile do not use Vicks nasal spray. Consult the gynaecologist for using the same during pregnancy or breast feeding.
Having thought about the pros and cons of Vicks nasal spray and its use in pregnancy, it is considered that Vicks nasal spray is used for local action only. And the dose of oxymetazoline, chlorhexedine HCl or phenyl ephrine is very low to show magnified systemic effects. Therefore Vicks nasal spray is far better than an orally ingested formulation that is bound to enter the systemic circulation and cause widespread action. However, with Vicks nasal spray, the systemic effect is minimum and thus considered to be safe on one side. But Vicks nasal spray should not be self medicated by pregnant or nursing women. Vicks nasal spray may not have any effect on fetus or mother or it can have unique effects in some individuals. Doctor’s advice should be considered ultimate, the article on this page is for patient information only.