Afrin and Pregnancy
Adequate research has not been done on pregnancy and Afrin, so it is not clear if this nasal spray is safe for use in pregnant women. High doses, however, may lead to stress in the fetus. Also, you should avoid Afrin if you have any problems during pregnancy, especially placental problems. If you become pregnant while using the drug, talk to you healthcare provider.
Is Afrin Safe During Pregnancy?Afrin® (oxymetazoline nasal spray) is a non-prescription decongestant nasal spray. It is not entirely clear if Afrin is safe for use during pregnancy.
Afrin and Pregnancy Category CThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been studied in pregnant humans but that do appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies. Also, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
Oxymetazoline (the active ingredient in Afrin) has not been adequately studied in pregnant animals or humans. A small study suggests that a single dose of Afrin is unlikely to cause problems for healthy pregnant women. However, it has also been reported that overuse of the drug can lead to stress in the fetus, such as low oxygen and a slow heart rate.
It makes sense that it would be safer to use a nasal spray decongestant than one that is taken by mouth, as less of the medication reaches the bloodstream when used as a nasal spray. However, more research is necessary to make sure that this assumption is true.
Afrin should be avoided by women who are having problems with their pregnancy, especially placental problems. The active ingredient in Afrin could possibly constrict the uterine blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the fetus.