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Is Robitussin Safe To Take During Pregnancy?

It is quite common to come down with a cough and cold during pregnancy. The body’s immune response becomes weak when a woman is pregnant in order to ensure that the woman’s body does not reject the unborn fetus. Due to the impact on the immune system during pregnancy, the symptoms of a cold and cough may last longer than they would in normal conditions. While feeling discomfort from the symptoms, you may want to turn to some medications to feel better. Robitussin is one such product that has been in the market for a long time and the active ingredients in the drug are known to effectively treat a cough and cold symptoms. But is Robitussin safe to take during pregnancy? Let’s find out.

Overview of Robitussin

Robitussin has been in the market for many years now. Most Robitussin products contain one or both of the active ingredients guaifenesin and dextromethorphan. These active ingredients are effective in treating symptoms that are related to cold and cough. While guaifenesin works as an expectorant, dextromethorphan works in controlling the frequency of your cough. Guaifenesin helps dissolve the secretions from your lungs and also thins out the mucus. This makes it easier for you to cough up the mucus, reducing chest congestion and helping clear your airways.

Both guaifenesin and dextromethorphan are available as over-the-counter drugs and they have not been assigned an official pregnancy category rating. This means that you will have to consider some facts about these active ingredients before you start taking medications containing them while you are pregnant or even while breastfeeding.

Is Robitussin Safe To Take During Pregnancy?

Is Robitussin Safe To Take During Pregnancy?

Both these active ingredients guaifenesin and dextromethorphan are considered to be safe for use when you are pregnant. However, the problem that arises is that most of these liquid cough syrups also tend to contain alcohol, apart from these two active ingredients. Consuming alcohol is not recommended during pregnancy. Alcohol is known to cause birth defects and many other side effects on the developing fetus. Therefore, you will need to ask your doctor or your pharmacist to give you a cough medication that is free from any alcohol content and is safe to consume during pregnancy.

While both guaifenesin and dextromethorphan do not have any known side effects, they can cause the following:

Constipation may also be caused by dextromethorphan. As most of these effects are quite similar to what morning sickness feels like, these active ingredients may actually aggravate your morning sickness symptoms.

Therefore, Robitussin may not be safe to take during pregnancy.

You should also avoid taking Robitussin if you are breastfeeding as one of the ingredients, dextromethorphan is suspected to pass into the breastmilk. Furthermore, alcohol can also be passed through to the child from breastmilk.


If you are experiencing severe symptoms of a cold and cough then it is best that you ask your doctor for a recommendation on which medication is safe to take while pregnant. Always consider the potential side effects and how they may interfere with your pregnancy. Also keep in mind that different medications interact differently with your pregnancy medications such as prenatal vitamins, folic acid, etc. Therefore, always consult your doctor before taking any medication while you are pregnant.


  1. American Pregnancy Association. (2021). Medications and Pregnancy: Understanding the Risk. https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/medications-and-pregnancy-8932/
  2. MedlinePlus. (2021). Dextromethorphan. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682492.html
  3. MedlinePlus. (2021). Guaifenesin. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682494.html
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Alcohol Use in Pregnancy. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/alcohol-use.html

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 1, 2023

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