PregnancyPregnancyCan I Use Vicks VapoRub While Pregnant?

Can I Use Vicks VapoRub While Pregnant?

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Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges, including dealing with cold symptoms. Many pregnant women wonder if they can use Vicks VapoRub to alleviate their stuffy nose, sore throat, and cough.

This comprehensive article provides a guide on common cold remedies and if it’s safe to use Vicks VapoRub during pregnancy, along with answering frequently asked questions to help expectant mothers make informed decisions.

Benefits of Vicks VapoRub

Vicks VapoRub is an over-the-counter topical ointment that contains camphor, cedar leaf oil, menthol, eucalyptus oil, and other components.  Its constituents are similar to the Vicks inhaler.

It is commonly used to provide relief from cold and flu symptoms, as well as to address other respiratory issues. Some potential benefits of VapoRub include:

  • Relief from nasal congestion: The menthol and eucalyptus oil in VapoRub can help to clear nasal passages and ease breathing during a cold or flu.
  • Cough suppression: The menthol and eucalyptus in VapoRub can help soothe a cough when applied to the chest and throat area.
  • Easing muscle aches and pains: The camphor in VapoRub has a mild analgesic effect that may help to relieve muscle aches and pains when applied topically.
  • Improved sleep: VapoRub reduces congestion and coughing, which can interrupt sleep.
  • Soothing insect bites and minor skin irritations: VapoRub has mild anti-inflammatory properties and can help alleviate itchiness and irritation caused by insect bites or minor skin irritations.
  • Headache relief: Some people find headache relief by applying VapoRub to their temples or forehead. Menthol’s cooling sensation may help to alleviate pain.

It is important to note that VapoRub should not be used on kids below 2. You should also never ingest or apply it to broken skin or wounds.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns about using VapoRub.

Is Vicks VapoRub Safe for Pregnant Women?

The safety of any medicine or common cold remedies such as VapoRub during pregnancy remains a concern for many expectant women.

When used in the manner specified by the manufacturer, Vicks VapoRub is deemed to be safe for use by pregnant women, as stated by the American Pregnancy Association.

However, before using any over-the-counter medication, including products from Vicks, it is critical to discuss the treatment with your primary care physician to determine whether or not it is appropriate for your unique circumstances.

Precautions When Using Vicks VapoRub During Pregnancy

Although Vicks VapoRub is generally considered safe, it’s essential to take the following precautions when using it while pregnant:

Avoid Ingestion

Vicks VapoRub should never be ingested, as it can be toxic when consumed. Always use it as a topical ointment and keep it out of reach of children.

Be Cautious with Active Ingredients

Some active ingredients in Vicks vapor rub, such as camphor and eucalyptus oil, can potentially reduce blood flow to unborn children if used excessively.

Always follow the recommended usage instructions and consult your healthcare provider for concerns.

Don’t Use a Vicks Inhaler or Vicks Sinex Nasal Spray

Vicks inhalers and Sinex nasal sprays contain phenylephrine hydrochloride, which is not recommended for pregnant women due to its potential to reduce blood flow to the unborn baby. Instead, consider using a saline defense nasal spray or saline nose drops to help relieve congestion.

Alternative Remedies for Cold Symptoms During Pregnancy

If you’re hesitant about using Vicks VapoRub while pregnant, there are several alternative remedies, like a natural cough suppressant, to help alleviate cold symptoms:

Warm Salt Water Gargle

To help soothe a sore throat, dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and gargle for 30 seconds. Repeat this process several times a day.

Saline Nasal Drops or Spray

Saline nasal drops or sprays can help clear a stuffy nose and are safe for use during pregnancy.

Warm Bath

Taking a warm bath can help relax your body and relieve congestion. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the water for an added soothing effect.

Chicken Soup

Sipping on a warm chicken soup can help alleviate cold symptoms by providing hydration and soothing the throat. Plus, it’s a comforting and delicious option for pregnant women.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water, juice, or warm herbal teas can help keep you hydrated and thin the mucus, making it easier to clear a stuffy nose and relieve congestion.

Proper Rest

Getting adequate rest is crucial for a healthy immune system. Ensure you sleep enough to help your body fight cold symptoms more effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Vicks DayQuil or NyQuil during pregnancy?

It’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider before using any over-the-counter cold medications, including Vicks DayQuil or NyQuil, during pregnancy. Some ingredients in these medications may not be recommended for expectant mothers.

What other over-the-counter medicines should I avoid during pregnancy?

You should avoid medications containing phenylephrine hydrochloride, ibuprofen, and aspirin.

Always consult your healthcare provider before using any over-the-counter medicines to ensure they are safe for the mother and the unborn child.

How can I prevent cold symptoms during pregnancy?

To reduce your risk of catching a cold during pregnancy, practice good hygiene, maintain a healthy diet, get enough rest, and avoid close contact with sick individuals. Additionally, consider getting a flu shot if it’s recommended by your healthcare provider.


While Vicks VapoRub is generally considered safe during pregnancy, it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider before using any over-the-counter medications.

If you’re hesitant about using Vicks VapoRub, consider the alternative remedies mentioned in this guide to help alleviate your cold symptoms.

Prioritizing your health and well-being during pregnancy will benefit you and ensure the best possible start for your unborn baby.

Written by

Anna Thornhill
Anna Thornhill
Anna is one of our expert writers and, as a mom of two lovely kids (a daughter and son), she has plenty of practical experience to draw on when writing guides and reviews. Anna writes about techniques she's used both during pregnancy and as a new mother, such as combination feeding, and guides to products that have made feeding and care of her kids a little easier.


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