Your allergies have flared up, and you can’t breathe.
Yet you’re worried about taking medication because you’re expecting.
So which are the best safe nasal sprays during pregnancy?
I did the research to find them and reviewed them here for you.
But please, check with your doctor before you take anything for a cold or allergies while you’re pregnant.
- 1 Is nose spray safe during pregnancy?
- 2 What risks are there in using nasal spray?
- 3 Which nasal sprays are safest during pregnancy?
- 4 Top Safe Nasal Sprays During Pregnancy
- 4.1 Flonase Nasal Spray for Allergy Relief
- 4.2 Kirkland Aller-Flo Fluticasone Propionate (Glucorticoid)
- 4.3 Basic Care 24-Hour Allergy Relief Nasal Spray
- 4.4 GoodSense 24-Hour Allergy Nasal Spray for Runny Nose and Allergy Relief
- 4.5 Nasacort Allergy 24 Hour Nasal Spray
- 4.6 Rhinocort Allergy Nasal Spray Allergy Medicine
- 4.7 Vicks Sinex Severe No Drip Sinus Congestion Nasal Spray
- 4.8 Afrin Original Spray
- 4.9 Afrin Severe Congestion Pump Nasal Mist
- 4.10 Mucinex Sinus-Max Full Force Nasal Decongestant Spray
- 4.11 Zicam Extreme Congestion Relief Nasal Spray
- 4.12 Basic Care No Drip Nasal Spray
- 4.13 NasalCrom Nasal Spray Allergy Symptom Controller
- 4.14 XLEAR Nasal Spray
- 4.15 Arm & Hammer Simply Saline Nasal Mist
- 4.16 Arm & Hammer Simply Saline Nasal Mist Extra Strength, Nighttime Formula
- 4.17 Amazon Basic Care Premium Saline Nasal Moisturizing Spray
- 4.18 Ayr Saline No-Drip Sinus Spray
- 4.19 Major Pharmaceuticals Deep Sea Generic for Ocean Nasal Moisturizing Spray
- 4.20 NeilMed Sinus Rinse
- 4.21 Saline Nasal Spray for Baby and Kids by Boogie Mist
- 4.22 Little Remedies Saline Spray and Drops
- 5 Conclusion
Is nose spray safe during pregnancy?
Thankfully, yes, most kinds of nose spray are safe to use while you’re pregnant.
The concern about these medications not being safe comes from a study done on birth defects. The children born to mothers who used these drugs were statistically more likely to have severe heart, ear, and digestive issues.
Otherwise, many other nasal sprays are generally regarded as safe for pregnant women. Again, please check with your OB/GYN to be sure.
What risks are there in using nasal spray?
Besides the above, expectant mothers might also have one additional problem using a nasal spray.
Decongestant sprays are only recommended for two or three days in a row, maximum. After that, you could end up with the rebound effect.
Your body will end up with more congestion than it had before.
To avoid this consequence, use an everyday saline nose spray instead. You’ll find some of those at the bottom of the reviews.
Which nasal sprays are safest during pregnancy?
The safest nasal sprays you can use contain saline, or saltwater (3).
You might also benefit from over-the-counter steroid sprays like Flonase or Nasonex.
For now, skip the aromatherapy and stick to using a humidifier of pure water instead. Some herbal remedies are toxic during pregnancy.
Now, let’s look at the best nose sprays during pregnancy.
Top Safe Nasal Sprays During Pregnancy
Flonase Nasal Spray for Allergy Relief
Flonase is a well-known allergy relief medication. It’s one of the top options recommended by doctors.
Use it once a day throughout allergy season to keep your nose clear and your breathing comfortable.
The active ingredient is fluticasone propionate. It’s a corticosteroid that blocks histamine and other substances that cause allergy symptoms like sneezing watery eyes, and nasal congestion.
Specifically, it works against histamine, prostaglandins, cytokines, chemokines, tryptases, and leukotrienes.
The prescription-strength version provides relief for up to 24 hours.
Also important, it doesn’t make you sleepy like an allergy pill can.
Kirkland Aller-Flo Fluticasone Propionate (Glucorticoid)
Kirkland’s Aller-Flo is a less-expensive knockoff of Flonase.
Some people claim they like it better because the pump in the bottle works more evenly and consistently.
Basic Care 24-Hour Allergy Relief Nasal Spray
As you can see, there’s more than one generic nose spray with fluticasone propionate.
Each dose of this one provides 50 mcg.
Like the other two above, you’ll have allergy relief for a full day after you use it. It alleviates hay fever, so you don’t have to deal with sneezing, an itchy nose, watery eyes, and so on.
It does not work for cold symptoms, though. In fact, none of these allergy sprays are recommended for treating colds.
GoodSense 24-Hour Allergy Nasal Spray for Runny Nose and Allergy Relief
And again, here’s another copy of Flonase with fluticasone propionate.
Independent laboratory testing found that it was comparable to the name brand.
Like many other nose sprays, it contains a preservative called benzalkonium chloride. This antimicrobial ingredient appears in many medications and different types of products. It helps keep the nose spray sterile.
For a time, it was thought that benzalkonium chloride adversely affected the mucous membranes of the nose. At the time of writing, however, there wasn’t enough research to fully support this conclusion (5).
Nasacort Allergy 24 Hour Nasal Spray
Nasacort has a different kind of glucocorticoid called triamcinolone acetone in it. It has an effect similar to Flonase in that it reduces allergy symptoms without making you sleepy.
The relief lasts up to a full day after you use it.
Happily, for pregnant women, this spray is scent-free.
It doesn’t have any alcohol in it, either, so it doesn’t sting or dry out your nose. The thick consistency won’t drip or run.
Each bottle is good for about 120 doses.
Rhinocort Allergy Nasal Spray Allergy Medicine
Here’s another unscented allergy spray. It features budesonide, a corticosteroid.
Each dose is 32 mcg, designed to last for 24 hours of symptom relief.
Rhinocort is an over-the-counter drug that’s promoted as a prescription-strength solution. It’s recommended for children six years and older and adults.
But don’t take it if you have glaucoma, cataracts, and eye infection, and nose injury that hasn’t healed, recent nose surgery, or taking any steroid medications for asthma.
Vicks Sinex Severe No Drip Sinus Congestion Nasal Spray
Vicks’s active ingredient is oxymetazoline HCl.
It’s a decongestant recommended for the common cold and allergy relief. It shrinks swollen blood vessels to relieve congestion and pressure.
One dose works for 12 hours. Almost as soon as you spray it, you’ll start feeling better.
This medication is not scent-free. On the contrary, it contains the classic Vicks recipe of menthol, camphor, and eucalyptol. You won’t just smell it; you’ll also feel it.
Afrin Original Spray
The original Afrin spray also contains oxymetazoline HCl. It relieves congestion for up to 12 hours whether or not it’s from a cold or allergies.
It won’t make you more tired, either.
Afrin Severe Congestion Pump Nasal Mist
What’s the difference between this Afrin spray and the one above?
One thing is the no-drip formula. It shoots mist up your nostrils, but it won’t run down your throat or out your nose.
If you’re not confident you should try it, take into account that it comes with a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.
You’ll need to spray it two or three times in each nostril, but then the effects last for 12 hours.
Even though it’s maximum strength, it won’t cause drowsiness.
Interestingly, this spray also has camphor, eucalyptol, and menthol, similar to the Vicks product.
Mucinex Sinus-Max Full Force Nasal Decongestant Spray
Mucinex uses oxymetazoline HCl just like Afrin and Vicks. Plus, it provides an “instant cooling menthol burst.”
That’s not surprising as it has camphor, eucalyptol, and menthol.
Within three minutes, you should start feeling better and breathing easier as it relieves sinus pressure. Then, the effects last up to 12 hours.
Zicam Extreme Congestion Relief Nasal Spray
Take a guess what the active ingredient is in Zicam.
Yes, it’s oxymetazoline HCl that provides 12 hours of allergy and cold relief.
So, why might you prefer this medication over the other similar sprays? Is it just the price, or are there other benefits?
For one, Zicam contains aloe vera to soothe irritated nasal passageways.
Next, it’s a no-drip formula with no aftertaste. It won’t tickle your throat or run back down out of your nose.
Finally, it has a locking cap. That’s convenient for bringing it along in your purse as it won’t spill or spray.
Basic Care No Drip Nasal Spray
With all the name brands promoting oxymetazoline HCl, it was only a matter of time until someone made a generic version.
It’s a pretty standard formula without any added menthol or scented ingredients.
Moreover, it’s gluten-free and cheap.
NasalCrom Nasal Spray Allergy Symptom Controller
Let’s switch gears and look at a different type of allergy medication. NasalCrom contains cromolyn sodium.
It’s a mast cell stabilizer. It keeps the body from releasing histamines that cause all the allergy symptoms you hate so much (6).
There are no steroids, no decongestants, plus it’s not habit-forming and won’t make you fall asleep unexpectedly.
Children as young as two years old can use it.
Now, it’s crucial to know that the spray doesn’t provide relief as quickly as a decongestant. It actually takes a week or two to toughen your defenses against allergens. In the meantime, it still offers some comfort.
You should also be aware that it’s not made for treating sinus infections, colds, or asthma.
Each bottle is good for about 200 sprays.
XLEAR Nasal Spray
Now, let’s look at saline sprays.
This one contains xylitol, too. Xylitol keeps bacteria from sticking to your nasal passages. It also diminishes swelling.
At the same time, the saline spray helps reduce inflammation caused by irritants like pollution and pollen.
Some users are pleased that it helps them snore less.
You’ll need a couple of squirts in each nostril. For best results, treat yourself at least twice a day.
Each bottle has approximately 240 doses.
Arm & Hammer Simply Saline Nasal Mist
Arm and Hammer created a saline spray with just three ingredients: pure water, salt, and baking soda.
It has no preservatives, steroids, drugs, etc. This means you can use it freely with any other prescription or over-the-counter medications.
It cleanses debris from your nostrils and helps relieve congestion.
Use it as often as you need it.
Arm & Hammer Simply Saline Nasal Mist Extra Strength, Nighttime Formula
The nighttime formula features eucalyptus alongside pure water, salt, and baking soda.
It helps clear clogged nasal passages and reduce snoring.
Be careful if you have plant allergies, though. Some people are sensitive to eucalyptus, while others find that it helps them breathe easier.
Amazon Basic Care Premium Saline Nasal Moisturizing Spray
Here is a saline spray that’s inexpensive but packed with preservatives like benzalkonium chloride and phenycarbinol.
It wouldn’t be my first choice.
On the other hand, the bottle has a unique design. You can apply the liquid as a spray or as drops, depending on the way you hold it.
Ayr Saline No-Drip Sinus Spray
It’s not a saline spray alone. This product also contains moisturizers, aloe, and other botanical ingredients.
The gel-like solution comes out in a fine mist, but it doesn’t drip and run. Instead, it penetrates into the sinuses where it clears congestion at the source.
It could be just what you need if you find that other medications dry out your nose.
Also, the formula won’t cause rebound congestion.
Major Pharmaceuticals Deep Sea Generic for Ocean Nasal Moisturizing Spray
If you live in a cold, dry climate, try a saline spray to heal your dry nose.
It thins mucus and restores moisture to dehydrated nasal passages.
Turn the bottle upside down to dispense one drop at a time. Squeeze it from the upright position for a spray.
NeilMed Sinus Rinse
Safer than a neti pot, here is a nasal rinse kit to irrigate your sinuses.
It comes with a pH-balanced saline solution that won’t sting or burn. The formula doesn’t contain preservatives, either.
Try it for up to 90 days and get your money back if you’re not satisfied.
Saline Nasal Spray for Baby and Kids by Boogie Mist
Babies get stuffy and runny noses all the time. Try out this nasal spray on yourself before you use it on your little one.
(Of course, for sanitary reasons, you’ll want to have separate bottles for both of you.)
It has a baby-friendly nozzle to apply a gentle mist in each nostril.
Furthermore, it’s preservative-free to protect delicate mucous membranes.
Little Remedies Saline Spray and Drops
This saline solution functions as a nose dropper or nasal spray, depending on how you hold the bottle.
It’s free of alcohol, drugs, parabens, dyes, and other unnecessary ingredients.
The pure nose spray is safe for newborns and their mamas, too.
It moisturizes the nasal passages and helps clear out the gunk.
I’m sorry you’re dealing with a stuffed-up nose, but I applaud your efforts to find a safe, effective medication for it.
While you’re expecting, it seems like everything you do affects your child. Therefore, I’m glad you’re looking for safe nose sprays.
There are many to choose from, whether you prefer allergy symptom relief, a decongestant, or simple saline solution.
If you discovered a spray today that’s made your life easier, please come back and tell us about it in the comments below.
1. https://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-safe-to-use-a-nasal-spray-decongestant-during-pregnanc_1246891.bc by Gerald Briggs, BPharm, FCCP, accessed April 20, 2020
2. https://www.nhs.uk/news/pregnancy-and-child/decongestant-sprays-linked-to-rare-birth-defects/ published July 24, 2013, accessed April 20, 2020
3. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/pregnant-5-killer-allergy-busters-that-are-safe-for-baby/ published August 4, 2017, accessed April 20, 2020
4. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a695002.html accessed April 20, 2020
5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0954611101911278 accessed April 20, 2020
6. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-22051/cromolyn-oral/details accessed April 20, 2020