This sheet is about exposure to meclizine in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. This information should not take the place of medical care and advice from your healthcare providers.
What is meclizine?
Meclizine is a medication used to treat nausea and vomiting, motion sickness, and vertigo (a feeling of whirling and loss of balance). It is an antihistamine (medication used to stop some allergy or cold symptoms) and might cause drowsiness. Some brand names for meclizine have included: Antivert®, Bonine®, and Meclicot®. Meclizine comes in several over-the-counter (OTC) products such as some Dramamine® products.
I take meclizine. Can it make it harder for me to get pregnant?
Studies have not been done to see if taking meclizine could make it harder to become pregnant.
I just found out I am pregnant. Should I stop taking meclizine?
Talk with your healthcare providers before making any changes to how you take this medication.
Does taking meclizine increase the chance for miscarriage?
Miscarriage can occur in any pregnancy. Studies have not been done to see if taking meclizine could make it harder to become pregnant.
Does taking meclizine increase the chance of birth defects?
Every pregnancy starts out with a 3-5% chance of having a birth defect. This is called the background risk. Based on the data available, meclizine has not been shown to cause an increased chance for birth defects when used in pregnancy.
Could taking meclizine cause other pregnancy complications?
Based on the studies reviewed, it is not known if meclizine can cause other pregnancy complications.
I need to take meclizine throughout my entire pregnancy. Will it cause withdrawal symptoms in my baby after birth?
Based on the studies reviewed, it is not known if meclizine can cause withdrawal symptoms.
Does taking meclizine in pregnancy cause long-term problems in behavior or learning for the baby?
Based on the studies reviewed, it is not known if meclizine can cause behavior or learning issues.
Can I breastfeed while taking meclizine?
Small amounts of meclizine can be found in breast milk. There is no information on meclizine use while breastfeeding. If this medication is used often or in larger doses (given by injection), talk with your healthcare provider about its use during breastfeeding. If you suspect that the baby has symptoms such as drowsiness or dry mouth, contact the child’s healthcare provider.
It is possible but not proven, that antihistamines, in general, may lower the amount of breastmilk a person makes. This might be more likely to happen if antihistamines are used together with an oral decongestant like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed®), or if used before breastfeeding is fully established (when a baby is first born). Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about all of your breastfeeding questions.
I take meclizine. Can it make it harder for me to get my partner pregnant or increase the chance of birth defects?
There have been no studies looking at how meclizine might affect sperm or a partner’s pregnancy. In general, exposures that fathers or sperm donors have are unlikely to increase the risks to a pregnancy. For more information, please see the MotherToBaby fact sheet Paternal Exposures at https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/paternal-exposures-pregnancy/.
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OTIS/MotherToBaby recognizes that not all people identify as “men” or “women.” When using the term “mother,” we mean the source of the egg and/or uterus and by “father,” we mean the source of the sperm, regardless of the person’s gender identity.