Migraine Medications That Are Safe During Pregnancy
Thanks to stable levels of migraine-preventive estrogen that occur during pregnancy, women who frequently experience these debilitating headaches often get a reprieve from them when they’re expecting. For those in the minority who still get migraines, the question of how to treat them is an important one. While there are several effective medications for the treatment of migraines, not all are considered safe for a developing baby.
Migraine painif experienced during pregnancyis often severe enough to require medication. Sometimes other migraine symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, also must be treated with drugs as well.
Fortunately, there are a number of effective migraine medications that the Food and Drug Administration considers safe to take during pregnancy. Before reaching for your regular prescription, make sure that it is included in this list . If it’s not, discuss these safer options with your healthcare provider.
What Medications Should I Avoid When Im Pregnant
Starling recommends against taking NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen during pregnancy. Thats because in the first trimester, these drugs are linked to an increased risk of spontaneous abortions, and in the third trimester, there are concerns about fetal kidney issues, and other issues with the fetus, she says.
A study published in 2018 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that NSAID use in women around conception was associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, especially in women with a lower body mass index .
The FDA issued a safety warning in 2020 that recommends avoiding NSAIDs in pregnancy at 20 weeks or later because they can result in low amniotic fluid and may cause rare kidney problems in unborn babies.
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Why Are My Migraines Worse During Pregnancy
One of the most common triggers at least for women is fluctuating hormone levels, particularly the rise and fall of estrogen. Moms-to-be who get migraine attacks tend to experience them most often in the first trimester of pregnancy, when hormone levels, including estrogen, havent yet stabilized.
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Remedies For Pregnancy Headaches: How To Relieve Migraines
Youve probably had a headache before, but during pregnancy, they can be more intense and frequent.
Although you may be tempted by over-the-counter medications, most quick fixes are off-limits during pregnancy. Well let you know which pain reliver is safest and the lifestyle changes to try before taking medication.
Read on to learn how to relieve headaches when youre pregnant.
What Happens To Migraine During The Second Trimester Of Pregnancy
Generally speaking, thats the time when migraine improves. It becomes less frequent and less severe, likely due to associated hormonal changes. Thats the good news.
For an unfortunate minority, severe migraine may persist throughout pregnancy. This can be a difficult situation due to medication limitations, although there are some safe non-medication and medication options available.
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Using Painkillers When Pregnant
Some medicines, including painkillers, can harm your babys health.
Paracetamol is generally considered safe during pregnancy. Always check the packaging for the correct amount of tablets to take, and how often you may take them.
If you find you need to take paracetamol for more than a couple of days, you may need to speak to your GP.
Ibuprofen is sometimes recommended for headaches during pregnancy. You can only take this at certain times during your pregnancy. Always check with your GP, pharmacist or obstetrician before taking ibuprofen.
Check with your GP, pharmacist or midwife before taking any medication.
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Pregnancy Can Have A Significant Impact On Migraine Symptoms And How Women Should Treat Them Heres What Experts Have To Say
First, the good news: Between 50 and 80% of pregnant migraine patients actually experience a reduction in migraine attacks during their pregnancy, according to David Dodick, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Arizona. Many doctors believe rising estrogen levels help reduce migraine frequency and intensity. Hormone replacement therapy that mimics pregnancys effect on the body is increasingly being used in migraine treatment plans, especially for those who experience migraines around the time of menstruation. Caution does need to be used however in women who have migraines with aura, as the increased risk of stroke may further be increased by the addition of an estrogen-containing oral contraceptive pill.
However, some women experience migraine for the first time during pregnancy and some experience an increase in migraine symptoms especially during the first trimester. The appearance or worsening of migraine in pregnant women should be taken very seriously: Studies show that migraine symptoms, when accompanied by high blood pressure, can increase the risk of developing preeclampsia or other vascular complications. Women whose migraine symptoms dont decrease during pregnancy should be particularly vigilant. Its important to work with your obstetrician and your headache doctor when you have migraine to establish a safe treatment plan.
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What Happens If You Take Naproxen At 30 Weeks
Taking naproxen or another NSAID after 30 weeks of pregnancy can cause the ductus arteriosus to close while the baby is in the womb. It is important to contact your doctor or midwife straight away if you have taken an NSAID after 30 weeks of pregnancy, especially if you have taken several doses, or more than the recommended dose.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Naproxen-containing products should not be used during the third trimester of pregnancy because, like all NSAIDs, it may cause premature closure of the ductus arteriosus.
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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Is A Headache During Pregnancy Something To Worry About
Pregnancy is a beautiful thing to be celebrated, but few people fill you in on the not-so-great symptoms that may occur during the journey. Namely, heartburn, gas, constipation and, for some pregnant mamas, headaches.
While headaches can be just another normal symptom of pregnancy, should they ever be a cause for concern?
Headaches are common in women both in and outside of pregnancy, said Kelley Saunders, MD, an OBGYN with Banner University Medicine Womens Institute. But whether they are normal or not should always be discussed with your doctor.
Here is some insight into what causes headaches during pregnancy, some remedies to treat them and why your doctor should be kept in the loop.
What You Need To Know
Exclude more serious causes of headache such as cerebral venous thrombosis before confirming a diagnosis of migraine
Women with premenstrual migraine and migraine without aura are more likely to see an improvement in symptoms during pregnancy
Many therapies for treating and preventing migraines can be safely used in pregnant women
A 36 year old woman who is 17 weeks pregnant with a 15 year history of migraine presents with an episode of a frontal unilateral headache. It is associated with nausea and visual aura consisting of mainly zigzag lines. She says that this headache is similar to her usual migraines, with two other episodes during this pregnancy so far, each lasting for about five or six hours and then resolving. Clinical examination is normal, including blood pressure and urine analysis.
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How Can I Treat A Headache In Pregnancy
If you have a mild headache, its safe to take paracetamol. Make sure you follow the instructions on the packet for how much you can take.
There are some painkillers you should not take while youre pregnant. These include tablets or capsules that:
- contain added caffeine
- contain codeine
- are anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen or aspirin.
Some women may be advised to take a low dose of aspirin as a treatment if they have had miscarriages before or they are at risk of pre-eclampsia. This will be prescribed by a doctor. Aspirin should not be taken as treatment for a headache.
Try to take the lowest dose of paracetamol that works and for the shortest amount of time. Your midwife, GP or pharmacist can give you more advice if the pain is ongoing and doesnt go away with paracetamol.
Find out more about drugs and medicines in pregnancy.
Pregnancy Complication In Migraine Patients
Most previous literature focused on the effects of migraine on pregnancy, while other headache disorders were often neglected. In general, a preexisting migraine does not represent a risk factor for negative pregnancy outcome and no increase rate of fetal malformations could be detected in pregnant women suffering from migraine . However, migraine can be considered an important risk factor for hypertensive and vascular diseases during pregnancy .
The largest study to investigate the relationship between migraine and pregnancy complications was conducted by Bushnell et al. In form of a retrospective, population based case-control study on 18,345,538 pregnancies in the United States between 2000 and 2003 . 33,956 of the examined pregnant women had a migraine diagnosis. The authors detected a strong correlation between migraine and vascular diseases. In particular, the risk for stroke was 15-fold higher, with odds ratios of 30.7 for ischemic and 9.1 for hemorrhagic stroke. Other vascular conditions at elevated risk were myocardial infarction and other heart diseases , thromboembolic conditions , hypertension , pregnancy-hypertension and preeclampsia .
Comparable results regarding elevated risk for preeclampsia were collected by Simbar et al. In a retrospective study on 180 Iranian pregnant women those with a history of migraine had a 2.7-fold higher risk for developing preeclampsia .
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Nurtec Odt Side Effects
Nurtec ODT can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Nurtec ODT. But these lists do not include all possible side effects.
For more information about the possible side effects of Nurtec ODT, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.
Note: The Food and Drug Administration tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect youve had with Nurtec ODT, you can do so through .
What Side Effects May I Notice From Receiving This Medicine
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- breathing problems
- passing urine more often
- trouble sleeping
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Magnesium For Headaches In Pregnant Women
13 June, 2017
Headaches are not uncommon during pregnancy. The worst are migraines. Migraine headaches are extremely painful and often debilitating vascular headaches. Cornell University notes that 15 to 20 percent of pregnant women experience migraines during pregnancy. The difficult part in dealing with migraines during pregnancy is that some medications used to treat migraines, both prescription and over-the-counter, are contraindicated during pregnancy.
Some research suggests that magnesium supplementation may decrease the frequency and duration of migraines during pregnancy. There is no correlation between magnesium and regular headaches, however.
What Should I Watch For While Using This Medicine
Tell your doctor or health care professional if the pain lasts more than 10 days, if it gets worse, or if there is a new or different kind of pain. Tell your doctor if you see redness or swelling. If you are treating a fever, check with your doctor if the fever that lasts for more than 3 days.
Do not take Tylenol or medicines that have acetaminophen with this medicine. Too much acetaminophen can be very dangerous. Always read medicine labels carefully.
Report any possible overdose to your doctor or health care professional right away, even if there are no symptoms. The effects of extra doses may not be seen for many days.
This medicine can irritate your stomach or cause bleeding problems. Do not smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking this medicine to prevent irritation to your throat.
If you are scheduled for any medical or dental procedure, tell your healthcare provider that you are taking this medicine. You may need to stop taking this medicine before the procedure.
Do not take this medicine close to bedtime. It may prevent you from sleeping.
This medicine may be used to treat migraines. If you take migraine medicines for 10 or more days a month, your migraines may get worse. Keep a diary of headache days and medicine use. Contact your healthcare professional if your migraine attacks occur more frequently.
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Do Migraines Worsen In Pregnancy
Many pregnant women have migraine headaches. Over half of women find that their migraines happen less often in the last few months of pregnancy. But migraines may get worse after birth, during the postpartum period. Although migraine headaches may cause you severe pain, they do not harm your developing baby .
How Does Pregnancy Affect Migraine Headaches
About 15 to 20 percent of pregnant women have migraines. Over half of women find that their migraines occur less often in the last few months of pregnancy. However, migraines may worsen after delivery, during the postpartum period. Although migraine headaches may cause severe pain for the mother, there are no dangers for the developing fetus.
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The First Three Months Of Pregnancy
During the first three months the symptoms of pregnancy can make your migraine worse. Morning sickness can mean that you feel like eating and drinking less which can cause low blood sugar and dehydration. If you are not careful this can make your migraines worse. You should try to eat small frequent meals and drink frequent small amounts of water to prevent this. You will also be helping reduce any pregnancy sickness.
What Are The Symptoms Of Migraine Headaches
The two most common types of migraines are classic migraines and common migraines. The following are the most common symptoms. However, each woman may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Migraine aura. A type of migraine that involves the appearance of neurological symptoms, called an aura , 10 to 30 minutes before an attack. An attack may last one or two days. Pain associated with classic migraines may be described as:
Intense throbbing or pounding felt in the forehead, temple, ear, jaw, or around the eye.
Starting on one side of the head, but may spread to the other side.
Migraine without aura. A type of migraine that is generally not preceded by an aura, although there may be a variety of symptoms prior to its onset. Common migraine pain may last three or four days. Symptoms may include:
Diarrhea and increased urination
Nausea and vomiting
The symptoms of migraines may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
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Understand What Causes Migraines
To better manage migraine attacks during pregnancy, its vital to understand what causes them.
Its possible that migraines are hereditary. Even so, both your environment and your genetics play a significant role.
Various elements can trigger a migraine, including:
- Certain foods
- Frequent yawning
- Irritable feelings
Although many of these signs are subtle, they can give you a heads up. These clues give you the chance to take preventative measures.
Keep in mind that migraine triggers are the same for both pregnant and non-pregnant women. Essentially, knowing your own body is the best way to manage and prevent migraines.
What Can I Do During Pregnancy To Decrease The Chance Ill Get A Migraine
Since so many migraine treatments are off the table while pregnant, it might feel like your arsenal is running low.
With fewer medications to turn to, lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in keeping your migraines under control while youâre pregnant.
Dr. Crystal recommends:
- Avoiding your known migraine triggers
- Dental evaluation for a night guard, if necessary
- Eating frequent, small meals
- Getting good sleep, and enough of it
- Physical therapy for neck pain and muscle spasms
- Prenatal massage
- Reducing stress as much as possible, and exploring techniques for managing stress
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Headache And Migraine Remedies That Are Safe During Pregnancy
Most women deal with headaches at some point in their lives. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that one in five women had a severe acute headache or migraine in the previous three months. Additionally, migraines are more common in women than men approximately 18 percent of women have them compared to 6.5 percent of men.
Because headaches and migraines are so common, its probably no surprise that many women deal with them during pregnancy. For the majority of pregnant women, occasional headaches or migraines are no cause for alarm, and most standard treatments are safe. However, suffering a severe headache at key times during or after pregnancy can indicate a serious medical emergency.