By Stanley Fineman, MD
Are asthma medications safe to take during pregnancy?
Yes. The risks from letting asthma get out of control during pregnancy are much greater than any associated with asthma medications. When the airways get obstructed (even before you feel symptoms), you don’t get as much oxygen as you or the baby needs to grow properly.
Is it safe to continue allergy shots (immunotherapy) while pregnant?
Yes, if you have reached your maintenance dose with no problems, then it’s safe to continue during pregnancy. We won’t begin immunotherapy or increase the dose during pregnancy but it’s safe to maintain the dose.
Should I take my asthma medications with me to the hospital for use during labor and delivery?
Yes. Often hospitals don’t want patients to use medications brought from home but it’s important for hospital staff to see what you have been using. Fortunately, very few women have exacerbations of asthma during delivery. Follow your daily asthma action plan as normal; it’s unlikely you’ll need a bronchodilator medication — but if you feel like you do, then speak up.
Stanley Fineman, MD, is a board-certified allergist with Georgia’s Atlanta Asthma and Allergy Clinic and president-elect of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
Ask the Allergist is sponsored by the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI).