If a pregnant woman has a severe cough that doesn't respond to guaifenesin, her doctor can prescribe codeine and other narcotics. Some prescription cough syrups combine these ingredients.
Your question raises two important points:
1. A pregnant woman needs to be sure that her cough is not from a more serious problem, such as asthma or pneumonia.
A pregnant woman should call her doctor or midwife if:
- She has other symptoms, such as fever, very bloody sputum or shortness of breath
- Her cough lasts for days in spite of using medications
Pregnant women and those caring for them often have to balance uncertainty (a drug seems safe although a small risk cannot be excluded) against the benefit the drug can bring.