Sore throat medication for pregnant women should be administered with caution. This is because the occurrence of sore throat can be traced to a number of factors and to use the right medication, the cause of the sore throat must be known.
During pregnancy, sore throat frequently occurs in women, especially when they are in the second trimester of pregnancy. During this time, heartburn is a usual occurrence and with it, sore throat can happen.
In this article, we will discuss and help you understand how pregnant women can get a sore throat, why they are easily affected, and how they can get the right option of treatment and sore throat medication for pregnant women.
What is a Sore Throat?
Everyone has experienced the scratchy, painful, and dry feeling at the back of the throat at least once before. That feeling that renders you uncomfortable in your mouth and sometimes makes swallowing painful is called Sore Throat. It is one of the most common health problems reported in clinics and hospitals and can be caused by various factors, pathogens included.
Sore throat doesn’t usually happen on its own, it is sometimes accompanied by headaches, running or congested nostrils, fever, cough, loss of appetite, hoarse voice, and many other conditions.
Most times, sore throats go away on their own, meaning no medication is necessary in some cases. However, it is important, especially for a pregnant woman, to consult her doctor when a sore throat fails to leave after some days.
Causes of Sore Throat.
Sore Throats are caused by so many factors, some of them being infections and environmental factors. Sore throat medication for pregnant women takes into cognizance the cause of sore throat and use it to determine the right treatment path.
Sore throats can be caused by:
The major cause of sore throat is viruses. The amount for up to 90 per cent of sore throat caused by pathogens. Sore throats caused by viruses usually manifest through other conditions such as influenza, chickenpox, common cold, measles, mononucleosis, and mumps.
Pathogenic sore throats can also be caused by bacteria such as streptococci. It infects the tonsils – the soft tissue at the back of the mouth – causing tonsillitis. The tonsils might become red and swollen or marked with white spots – a sign of pus.
Also, pregnant women who have been exposed to sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia are likely to develop a sore throat.
Smokes that arise from burning properties and effluents from factories can cause sore throat. The smoke causes irritation in the throat, making it painful and dry.
Habits, such as smoking also introduces smoke to the throat and causes irritation, leading to a sore throat.
Other chemicals, such as carbon monoxide are also causative agents of sore throat.
Dry air is the air that contains little amount of moisture. When the air is not humid, it sucks moisture from its surrounding. When this type of air gets access to the throat, it makes it go dry because it removes moisture from it.
Therefore, sore throat is common during periods of low air humidity such as harmattan and during the winter when the heater is constantly running.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Characterized by acid reflux and heartburn, GERD is a common occurrence in pregnant women. The reflux of the intestinal acid into the oesophagus causes a burning sensation in the oesophagus, up to the throat.
Irritation of the throat can occur as a result of the body’s immune system defending itself from allergens such as pollen. During its defence action, the immune system can cause watery eyes and nasal congestion, among other things. Mucus from the nasal cavity can gain entry into the throat, causing irritation.
It is also possible to get a sore throat as a result of prolonged stressful use of your vocal cords in activities such as singing, talking, or yelling. It is common for individuals in the singing, teaching and instructional professions to complain of sore throats.
Treatment of Sore Throat.
In most cases, sore throats and their symptoms disappear within seven days. Sore throats caused by a viral infection may not leave completely within seven days. However, they get better within the second and seventh day.
However, there are cases where the pain is difficult to live with or it doesn’t go away by the seventh day. There are treatment options that can help you get rid of the pain and restore normalcy.
For individuals that engage in intense use of their vocal organs, such as teachers, instructors, and singers. It is important that you rest your voice to alleviate the pain that has settled in your throat. Less use of the voice box helps it to heal and restores its health.
Take warm, soothing drinks
Hot tea mixed with honey, herbal teas, warm water with some lemon, soup broth; these drinks help to soothe a sore throat. They raise the temperature around the throat, thereby discouraging further growth of microorganisms and killing some (if they are responsible for your sore throat). Honey, mint, menthol, and lemon help to introduce coolness and reduce the pain associated with a sore throat.
Gargle with salt and water
Salt is known to be detrimental to the growth of microorganisms. Add a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Pour the mixture into your mouth and gargle it. Practice this at least twice a day.
Moisturize the air
One of the causes of sore throat is dry air which causes moisture from the throat to be lost. To treat sore throat in this case, add moisture to the air and hydrate adequately. To achieve this, turn on a humidifier to add some moisture to the surrounding air.
This is usually a last resort when all other treatments have failed to work. Medications used to treat sore throat usually depends on what causes the sore throat. Some medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen usually help relieve the pain associated with a sore throat. However, they do not address the underlying causes such as bacteria.
This type of treatment can be complicated, especially for pregnant women as they are not to take antibiotics without a doctor’s approval.
Appropriate Sore Throat Medication for Pregnant Women
Like every other person that can be affected by a sore throat, pregnant women can take medications such as acetaminophen and antihistamines when appropriate.
Acetaminophen medications should not exceed 3000 mg every 24 hours for pregnant women. Also, menthol and local anaesthetics that help numb the pain in the throat is safe for pregnant women. However, caution should be taken when dealing with antibiotics for the treatment of sore throat.
Pregnant women should avoid the use of antibiotics when they have a sore throat, except when prescribed by their doctors.
Sore throats affect pregnant women as much as it does every other person. They have a higher chance of getting bacterial-induced sore throat due to the reduce immunity strength their body has in their condition.
Sore throats can be treated using many available home remedies, most of which can also be used to alleviate sore throat pain for pregnant women as well. However, it is important that pregnant women abstain from using antibiotics to treat antibiotics.
Sore throat medication for pregnant women is considered safe when it does not interfere with the mother and child’s health. Antibiotics can pose a threat to the child’s immunity and should be used with caution. In fact, pregnant women should only use them when instructed to do so by their doctors.
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Ayomide, is a Health professional, who has worked in most healthcare unit and has a background in Nursing.