• Home
  • Pregnancy &
  • Contact us
  • Donate now
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Please read

Alcohol-Containing Medications

Exposure to alcohol-containing medications during pregnancy

Facundo Garcia-Bournissen, MD, Yaron Finkelstein, MD, Massoud Rezvani, MD, Gideon Koren, MD, FRCPC

September 2006



A pregnant patient consulted her physician after discovering that a diphenhydramine preparation (Benadryl elixir) she used for allergy symptoms during the first trimester of her pregnancy contained 15% alcohol. Should she be concerned about fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in her baby?


Most ethanol-containing medical preparations are safe during pregnancy. Adult doses of some elixirs with high ethanol concentrations might produce blood levels similar to those achieved by drinking 1 alcoholic beverage. Caution is advisable when prescribing ethanol-containing elixirs to pregnant women, as is informing them about the alcohol content.


Une patiente enceinte a consulté son médecin après avoir découvert qu’une préparation de diphenhydramine (l’élixir Bénadryl), qu’elle prenait durant le premier trimestre de sa grossesse pour des symptômes d’allergie, contenait 15% d’alcool. Devrait-elle s’inquiéter de la possibilité du syndrome d’intoxication fœtale à l’alcool chez son bébé?


La plupart des préparations médicales contenant de l’éthanol sont sécuritaires durant la grossesse. Une dose pour adulte de certains élixirs à forte concentration d’éthanol pourrait produire des taux d’alcool dans le sang semblables à ceux produits après avoir bu 1 consommation d’alcool. Il est conseillé d’être prudents lorsqu’on prescrit des élixirs contenant de l’éthanol aux femmes enceintes et de bien les renseigner sur le contenu en alcool.

[full story]
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional [Valid RSS]

Motherisk is proud to be affiliated with OTIS, The Organization of Teratology Information Specialists. OTIS is a network of information services across North America.

* - "MOTHERISK - Treating the mother - Protecting the unborn" is an official mark of The Hospital for Sick Children. All rights reserved.

The information on this website is not intended as a substitute for the advice and care of your doctor or other health-care provider. Always consult your doctor if you have any questions about exposures during pregnancy and before you take any medications.

Copyright © 1999-2017 The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). All rights reserved.

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is a health-care, teaching and research centre dedicated exclusively to children; affiliated with the University of Toronto. For general inquires please call: 416-813-1500.

  |  Contact SickKids  |  Terms of Use