Rubbing Alcohol and Cough Syrup

Class today hit hard the effects of drugs and alcohol on pregnancy.  The alcohol section really stuck out to me, as it was made very apparent that no amount of alcohol is safe for women that are pregnant.  But as some questions were asked, I began to be curious if products that contain alcohol are still considered to be dangerous for pregnant women.

One product that was mentioned during class was rubbing alcohol.  This is a substance containing alcohol that is applied to the surface of the skin.  After some research on this topic, as long as a pregnant woman, or really anyone, doesn’t start drinking the rubbing alcohol, there have been no proven negative side effects.

Another product that I was curious about was cough syrup, since this is a substance containing alcohol that one would actually drink.  There were reports for both cases, but in general doctors had no proven results linking cough syrup to any negative effects on preemies.  Although the quantity of alcohol consumed from a serving of cough syrup would contain a minimum amount of alcohol, some doctors did suggest finding a version of cough syrup with the least possible alcohol content.  On, Robitussin offers a type of cough syrup that is alcohol free.  This may not be the best tasting cough syrup, but would definitely be worth the bad taste in one’s mouth if this substance is actually harmful to pregnant women.  Most articles relating rubbing alcohol and cough syrup to pregnancy suggested consultation with a medical doctor before using either medication.

Relevant Articles:
(#2 is a general alcohol and pregnancy article)

Overview of the Author:
I am Ryan Van Wagenen.  I am all about the University of Utah and the Utes football.  I will be graduating with an Economics degree and a minor in Psychology in May 2010.  After graduation, I plan to move back to New York to pursue Investment Banking at Citi.  I will likely be there a couple years and then look to pursue an international opportunity within Citi based in London or Hong Kong.  Outside of work, I hope to stay involved in philanthropy.  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is a nonprofit based in Los Angeles that I am fond of and has made great progress in curing cancer over the past ~20 years.



~ by Ryan Van Wagenen on September 2, 2009.

5 Responses to “Rubbing Alcohol and Cough Syrup”

  1. In researching these topics out, I found quite a bit of information on cough syrup actually leading to conception. Here are a few of the articles:

    (#2 includes a list of many ideas doctors think could help women conceive)

    Ryan Van Wagenen

    • This is incredibly intriguing information, though I would be cautious to draw any conclusions as it is stated in the first web site you reference that there have been no studies on it. It is a really cool idea but there are always other factors that may be playing a role :-)

      -Andrea Hoffman

      • Thank you, I felt it would interesting to include this idea as a comment. I should have also mentioned that these articles are all just ideas and that none of this information has directly proven cough syrup to aid conception. Appreciate the comment :)

        Ryan Van Wagenen

  2. Yeah, we really did hit hard how dangerous alcohol is for the fetus. It makes me really sad to see a mother do something that could permanently damage their child and cause them so much pain in their lives- over something the child couldn’t even control. It is good to know, however, that rubbing alcohol and cough syrup are ok for pregnant mothers. Good report.

    Mike Angerbauer

  3. Your inquisitions are quite apprehending yet appear less risky then most concerns that a pregnant mother might have. However slight or large it may be however, I do largely agree with you that rubbing alcohol and cough syrup should be brought to the public’s attention. Anything that we are unaware of or do that may bring any form of a negative consequence should be either avoided at first and investigated for further use of the item later. You bring to the table a scenario that probably most of the pregnant population do not have issues with. As well as the fact that these products do not have any proven negative side affects. However, it is people like you that bring to our attention the little details in life that can potentially have big affects on our lives, and I thank you for that.

    Reuben Cousin

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