What Kind Of Headache Medicine Can I Take When Pregnant

Drugs To Treat The Symptoms Of Migraine

What can I do for pseudotumor cerebri while pregnant. Can medicine help the headaches?

Pain killers

Most painkillers are safe to use in pregnancy. However, check with your doctor, particularly if you are getting headaches more often than a couple of days a week.

Paracetamol is the drug of choice in pregnancy, having been used extensively without apparent harm to the developing baby.9

Aspirin has been taken by many pregnant women in the first and second terms of pregnancy.9 However, it should be avoided near the expected time of delivery since, it may be associated with early closure of the fetal ductus arteriosis and can also increase bleeding.9

Codeine: Codeine is not generally recommended for the management of migraine in the UK.10 However, occasional use in doses found in combined analgesics is unlikely to cause harm.

Ibuprofen: can be taken during the first and second trimesters in doses not exceeding 600mg daily.9 However, frequent use or exposure to high doses after 30 weeks is associated with an increased risk of premature closure of the ductus arteriosus.9

Antisickness drugs Buclizine, chlorpromazine, domperidone, metoclopramide and prochlorperazine have all been used widely in pregnancy without apparent harm.


Data regarding safety of sumatriptan during pregnancy are reassuring.11 However, continuing triptans during pregnancy is not recommended without medical supervision.

Ergots Ergotamine should not be used during pregnancy as it can increase the risk of miscarriage and perinatal death.

I Am Pregnant And Getting Blind Spots With My Migraine Should I See My Doctor

It is not uncommon for a woman to have her first attack of migraine aura during pregnancy. Symptoms are typically bright visual zig-zags growing in size from a small bright spot and moving across the field of vision over 20-30 minutes before disappearing. A sensation of pins and needles moving up an arm into the mouth may accompany this. If you experience these typical symptoms and your doctor confirms that this is migraine, there is no need to be concerned and no tests are necessary. However, if the symptoms are not typical of migraine aura, it is important to exclude other disorders, such as blood clotting disorders or high blood pressure, which may occasionally produce symptoms not dissimilar from migraine.

What Pregnant Women Can Take For Indigestion And Heartburn

Safe to take: Tums, Maalox, Mylanta, Pepcid

Progesterone is at it again, causing heartburn by affecting your smooth muscle cells and relaxing the sphincter between your stomach and esophagus so acid comes up. Before you take Prilosec or another prescription medication while pregnant, try over-the-counter remedies first because they’re the least strong. Also eat smaller and more frequent meals, stop noshing two to three hours before you hit the sack, and steer clear of rich, fried, or spicy foods, which often trigger stomach irritation. Sleeping on an incline can also prevent the contents of your stomach from splashing into your esophagus, causing heartburn.

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What Are The Different Types Of Headaches

The headaches youre suffering from while pregnant are just like the ones you can get at any other time, so its worth learning about some of the most common types. Heres a short primer to help you figure out what kind of headache you might have:

  • Tension headaches: If youre under stress, hungry or feel pain in your neck or shoulders, you could have a tension headache, which feels like a mild to moderate dull ache. Its one of the most common types.
  • Migraines: With a migraine headache, you can expect moderate to severe pain that throbs and lasts for hours or even days. Some women with migraines also experience blurred vision, light flashes, numbness and nausea.
  • Sinus headaches: Pressure around your eyes, cheeks and forehead plus a stuffy nose may signal a sinus headache. These typically occur with a sinus infection, but theyre also commonly confused with migraines. In both cases, the pain can get worse when you bend forward or lie down.
  • Cluster headaches: These head pains are what they sound like headaches upon headaches that start quickly and get worse, lasting for days or longer. The searing pain usually centers on one eye or affects one side of the head. The good news: Cluster headaches are rare, especially in women compared to men.
  • Chronic headaches: If youre getting headaches on more than half of the days in any given month, they could be considered chronic. This includes migraines and other headache types chronic just refers to how frequently they happen.

Prescription Painkillers/ Opioid Analgesics

15 Heartburn Medicines When Your Are Pregnant

Drugs that fall under this category are sold only on prescription.

Drugs like morphine, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, codeine, and oxycodone are known as opioid analgesics. Studies indicate that the use of these drugs during pregnancy has not been linked with an increased risk of major or minor malformations .

However, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that women who took NSAID and opioid pain medicines during the early stages of pregnancy could have babies with birth defects such as gastroschisis , cleft palate, spina bifida , and congenital heart defects . They may increase the possibility to produce a premature birth, or preterm labor or a stillbirth.

Also, prolonged usage of these drugs, especially in the latter stages of pregnancy, might pose a risk of maternal addiction and neonatal withdrawal . producing neonatal abstinence syndrome or NAS . So always check with your doctor before taking these pain medications.

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What Do I Do If I Have A Migraine In Pregnancy

If youve never had a migraine call your midwife, doctor or hospital maternity unit. Serious conditions like pre-eclampsia can be like a migraine, so although its unlikely anything is wrong, your healthcare team may want to see you.

If you have always had migraines, you may find that they get better during your pregnancy. But pregnancy can also change the nature of migraines, so if you have a migraine that feels different to what youve had before, call your midwife, doctor or hospital maternity unit.

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  • Amundsen S, Nordeng H, Nezvalova-Henriksen K, Stovner LJ, Spigset O. Pharmacological treatment of migraine during pregnancy and breastfeeding. NatRev Neurol. 2015 Apr 11:209-19.
  • Hamilton KT and Robbins MS. Migraine treatment in pregnant women presenting to acute care: a retrospective observational study. Headache.2019 Feb 59:173-179.
  • Amundsen S, Ovrebo TG, Amble NMS, Nordeng H. Risk perception, beliefs about medicines and medical adherence among pregnant and breastfeeding women with migraine: findings from a cross-sectional study in Norway. BMJ Open. 2019 Feb 27 9.
  • Wells RE, Turner DP, Lee M, Bishop L, Strauss L. Managing migraine during pregnancy and lactation. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2016 Apr 16:40.
  • Content and Format of Labeling for Human Prescription Drug and Biological Products Requirements for Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling
  • Meidahl Petersen K, Jimenez-Solem E, Andersen JT, Petersen M, Brodbaek K, Kober L, Torp-Pedersen C, Poulsen HE. Beta-Blocker treatment during pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcomes: a nationwide population-based cohort study. BMJ Open. 2012 Jul 19 2.
  • Robinson AY, Grogan PM. OnabotulinumtoxinA successfully used as migraine prophylaxis during pregnancy: a case report. Mil Med. 2014 Jun 179.
  • Yallampalli C, Chauhan M, Endsley J, Sathishkumar K. Calcitonin gene related family peptides: Importance in normal placental and fetal development. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014 814:229-40.
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    Can I Take Cold Medicine During Pregnancy

    While there is never really a good time to have a cold or the flu, having one during pregnancy comes with additional difficulties. Unfortunately, getting sick during pregnancy isnt uncommonthe immune system goes through a series of changes during those nine months.

    When faced with a seasonal cold or flu while pregnant, you must consider not only your own health but that of your baby’s. While there are certain drugs to avoid, suffering through your symptoms isn’t necessary. Read on for a few tips to consider.

    What Are Migraine Headaches

    What Medicine Can I Take While Pregnant? | Women’s Care

    Migraines are a type of headache that affects nerves and blood vessels . The 2 most common types of migraines are migraine with aura and migraine without aura.

    • Migraine with aura. This type of migraine includes an aura. You may see flashing lights or zigzag lines or lose your eyesight for a short time. This usually happens 10 to 30 minutes before the migraine starts. The aura may also happen during the migraine.

    • Migraine without aura. This type of migraine generally does not have an aura. You may have other symptoms before it starts.

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    What If My Migraine Attacks Get Worse During Pregnancy

    If a woman develops migraine for the first time during pregnancy, or if theres an increase in migraine symptoms during pregnancy, those symptoms should be taken seriously, according to the American Migraine Foundation.

    Research presented at the 2015 International Headache Congress suggested that women who had acute severe migraine during pregnancy are at increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes. In the study, more than half of the women experienced adverse outcomes, which included preterm delivery, preeclampsia , and low birth weight. The investigators found no association between the medication the women were taking for migraine and their pregnancy outcomes.

    Its important for all pregnant women with migraine to discuss disease management with the healthcare provider who treats their migraine, especially those women who have worsening symptoms of migraine during pregnancy.

    What Pregnant Women Can Take For The Flu

    Safe to take: Tamiflu

    Your immune system isn’t as strong when you’re pregnant, so the flu can hit you a whole lot harderand even lead to pneumonia or death in extreme cases. That’s why it’s so important to get the flu vaccine . However, if you’ve been exposed to and/or tested positive for the flu, doctors say it’s important to take Tamiflu to lessen the symptoms and duration. “Tamiflu is thought to be safe for pregnant women, and the risks of skipping it are far greater than taking the meds,” says Dr. Park. “That’s because the baby’s temperature is always going to be a degree higher than yours, so if you have a high fever it may cause birth defects during early development stages and pre-term labor during later stages of pregnancy.”

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    What Pregnant Women Can Take For A Cold

    Safe to take: Benadryl, Sudafed, Afrin nasal spray, Claratin, Robitussin DM, Vicks Formula 44, Halls cough drops

    Few women get through nine months without cold or allergy symptoms. The safest way to go is to try non-drug remedies: Rest, drink lots of fluids especially warm ones and use a saline nasal spray to help relieve stuffiness. If cold or allergy symptoms interfere with your ability to eat or sleep, it’s normal to wonder, “what medicine can I take while pregnant?” But according to Dr. Park., “Pretty much all of the over-the-counter meds for common cold are thought to be safe.” One thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of combination meds, such as Tylenol Cold, that treat multiple symptoms, such as a runny nose and cough and fever. But if the only cold symptoms you have are a headache and stuffy nose, why would you take a medication that also treats a cough? “Rather than taking meds you don’t actually need, target only the symptoms you want to treat by buying drugs for each of your specific concerns,” says Dr. Park.

    Look for the ingredient dextromethorphan, or DM, for a cough suppressant guaifenesin to loosen up mucus and pseudoephedrinem and phenylephrine, or PE, as a decongestant for a stuffy nose.

    Please consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medications while pregnant.

    Common Medications To Avoid

    10 Drugs to Avoid During Pregnancy

    Knowing what not to take is almost more important than knowing which medications are safe to take during pregnancy. There are a number of medications to avoid while pregnant unless recommended by your doctor. These include:

    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin and Advil , Bayer , and Aleve and Naprosyn , higher doses of which can cause premature blood vessel closure in the baby. However, low-dose aspirin is now routinely recommended for other indications.
    • Any cold remedy containing alcohol, including Benadryl and NyQuil
    • Codeine, a narcotic drug which may cause fetal respiratory depression
    • Bactrim , an antibiotic that can interfere with folic acid metabolism while stimulating the production of bilirubin , both of which are not good for the baby. The concern for folic acid metabolism is only in the first trimester, and the concern for jaundice is only after 32 weeks gestation. The medication can otherwise be used without concern, especially when treatment is necessary.
    • Pseudoephedrine- and phenylephrine-based decongestants, both of which may cause the constriction of blood vessels, potentially increasing the risk of a specific birth defect in the first trimester and risk of elevated blood pressures if used later in pregnancy.

    If your cold or flu is severe and you are experiencing chest pains, are coughing up discolored mucus, or have a fever over 102o F, call your doctor immediately.

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    Is It A Headache Or Something Else

    It isnt always easy to tell what kind of headache youre having, but the most common types of headaches during pregnancy are tension-type headaches, migraines and cluster headaches.

    Tension headaches are the most common kind of headache in pregnant women. It can feel like someone is trying to squish your head like a watermelon. If you carry your stress in your shoulders and neck, you may be more susceptible to this kind of headache.

    Migraines are a particular type of headache that occur on one side of the head. For some women, migraines can get worse the first few months and then improve in later stages of pregnancy. For others, they may experience no change, decrease or difference in their migraines.

    Cluster headaches are less common but can occur during pregnancy. Youll suddenly have severe pain around your eyes or temples usually about the same time every day.

    The good news is that there are plenty of pregnancy-safe things you can do to prevent and relieve the most common pregnancy headaches.

    What Are Symptoms Of Headaches During Pregnancy

    If youve had an aching head or migraine before you conceived, you probably know what a bad headache feels like. But its still a good idea to be on the lookout for the common symptoms of headaches during pregnancy, such as:

    • Occasional throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head

    Migraine headaches, however, can come with worse symptoms, including:

    • More severe pain
    • Intense pounding in the head
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting

    Some women with migraines also experience light and sound sensitivity and they find that the pain worsens if they move or change positions.

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    What Over The Counter Medications Can I Take When Im Pregnant

    In my primary care practice, many of my female patients worry about taking over the counter medications when they are trying to conceive, afraid they may take something bad before knowing they are pregnant.

    So it is important to know: what over-the-counter medicines can you take while you are pregnant, or trying to get pregnant?

    First, what are the common things you will need OTC meds for?


    Diarrhea or constipation


    Now, there are some grey areas where doctors arent sure if a medication is safe or not because that medicine hasnt been studied well enough in pregnant women. It also may depend on how far along the pregnancy is. Most birth defects happen in the first few months of pregnancy. If you take an OTC medicine during that time, you can increase the chance that the medicine will harm your baby. Having said that, here we go:

    1. What is the best pain reliever during pregnancy?Use acetaminophen to treat pain. Check with your doctor before taking any other pain medicines especially aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen . These are NSAIDS which may cause harm especially in the last 3 months of pregnancy. Taking a lot of NSAIDs in the last 3 months of pregnancy could harm your baby or cause problems during labor.

    3. Can I take herbal products?Id also be very careful here and always ask your doctor before you take any herbal product or supplement. Some herbal products can harm an unborn baby.

    Fight on!

    Can Painkillers Affect Your Pregnancy

    Can I Take Tylenol If I’m Pregnant?

    An animal study by the University of Edinburgh and Copenhagen University Hospital suggested that the long-term usage of painkillers during pregnancy can alter the DNA formation in the baby, which could affect their future fertility. This research, however, did not consider the influence of other factors. The study raises concerns and recommends the use of painkillers with caution during pregnancy .

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    Consult A Doctor Before Taking Any Pain Meds

    Pregnancy and discomfort often go hand in hand. But when discomfort progresses to pain, many expectant women wonder what medications they can safely use for relief. Luckily, safe painkiller options exist, but as with everything else during pregnancy, diligence is necessary. So, discuss all medications that you takeincluding over-the-counter drugswith your OB-GYN.

    Drugs To Prevent Migraine

    If daily medication is considered necessary to prevent migraine during pregnancy, the lowest effective dose of propranolol is the drug of choice.9 Low dose amitriptyline is a safe alternative.9 There are no reports of adverse outcomes from pizotifen used during pregnancy or lactation, although it is less often used than the drugs above.

    In contrast, sodium valproate, should not be taken during pregnancy for migraine as there is a high risk of fetal abnormalities. Indeed, women prescribed sodium valproate for migraine must use effective contraception.

    Topiramate should not be used for migraine during pregnancy and breastfeeding as there are insufficient data regarding safety.

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