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Are anti-diarrhea and anti-gas medications safe to take if I am pregnant?

Talk to your doctor before using an anti-diarrheal or anti-gas remedy when you are pregnant, because some anti-diarrheal and anti-gas medications may not be safe for your growing baby. Bismuth subsalicylate -- the active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate and other products -- is related to aspirin and has been shown to harm the fetus in animal studies.

Other animal studies have detected harm to the fetus from simethicone, the active agent in Alka-Seltzer Anti-Gas, Gas-X, Maalox Anti-Gas Extra Strength and Mylanta Gas.

Loperamide, found in Imodium, may be a safer choice; research hasn't shown that it poses a risk to the fetus. Discuss any over-the-counter or prescription drug with your doctor before taking it during your pregnancy.

Flatulence is definitely not a gas for pregnant women -- and that goes double for diarrhea. Watch this video in which obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Lauren Streicher explains when to use which drugstore medications for gastric relief.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.