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Which Headache Medicine Is Safe During Pregnancy

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Ask Dr Charlotte: What medications for migraine sufferers are safe to take during pregnancy?
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  • Natural Remedies Like Massage Therapy And Acupuncture Are Good Alternatives To Otc Medication

    Dr. Hutchinson prefers natural treatments such as B-2 and Magnesium for prevention. She also recommends physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, adequate hydration, and essential oils like lavender and peppermint.

    But what happens when preventative measures arent working and an OTC drug isnt strong enough to alleviate headache pain?

    Dr. Daniel Roshan, MD, assistant professor at NYU School of Medicine, told INSIDER that women who have a severe headache or a bad migraine might need stronger medications such as codeine, but anything that serious should only be given under the supervision of a doctor.

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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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    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.

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    Symptoms Of Migraines During Pregnancy

    Can I Take Tylenol Sinus And Headache While Pregnant

    A migraine usually starts out as a dull ache and then eventually becomes a throbbing, constant, and pulsating pain in the temples, in front of the head, or base of the head. Migraines are sometimes accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light, vomiting, dizziness, and auras, which are spots or lines that can occur across ones vision. The pain can sometimes make it difficult to focus, and symptoms can be debilitating.

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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, its 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 dont 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.

    Why Is Ibuprofen Bad For Pregnancy

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration found significant evidence that taking ibuprofen during the third trimester can be harmful to babies. For example, research shows that ibuprofen can cause a passage in the baby’s heart to close prematurely, possibly leading to heart or lung damage, or even death.

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    Risks For Ill Effects Are Low

    If you took acetaminophen during a current or past pregnancy, this might sound pretty scary especially since youve probably always considered this medicine harmless. But while experts agree its important to consider potential risks when taking any over-the-counter or prescription medicines during pregnancy, you shouldnt panic.

    The risk for an individual is low, says Dr. Kathryn M. Rexrode, chief of the Division of Womens Health, Department of Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Womens Hospital.

    Chances are pretty good that if you took acetaminophen during a pregnancy, your baby likely did not, or will not, suffer any ill effects.

    The research on this topic is not conclusive. Some information used to inform the consensus statement was gathered from studies on animals, or human studies with significant limitations. More research is needed to confirm that this medicine is truly causing health problems, and to determine at what doses, and at what points during a pregnancy, exposure to acetaminophen might be most harmful.

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    How To Safely Take Antibiotics In Pregnancy

    Headaches in Pregnancy | Corey Lyon, DO, Family Medicine | UCHealth

    The best way to take your antibiotics is to follow your doctors instructions. Because antibiotics have been used too much in the past, your doctor might be careful about what they give you.

    Your doctor will choose the best type for you. They might think about other factors before giving you antibiotics. These might include:

    • Avoiding antibiotics in the first trimester
    • Testing to confirm the type of infection
    • Giving the smallest dose possible
    • Giving antibiotics for the shortest time possible
    • Using only one type of antibiotic
    • Only giving antibiotics when necessary

    Antibiotics can interact with other medications or over-the-counter drugs. Your doctor might tell you not to take antibiotics with any other medicine.

    Take as directed. Sometimes when you take antibiotics you start to feel better right away. Its important to take your medicine until its finished and the way your doctor says. This might help stop the bacteria from becoming resistant to the medicine.

    Use other safe remedies. If you have a common cold or other minor conditions, your doctor likely wont give you antibiotics. Instead, ask about other over-the-counter medicine that is safe for you to take when youre pregnant. Other self-care practices for the common cold might be helpful, including:

    • Saline nasal spray
    • Warm salt water gargle

    If you dont get better or you have new symptoms, make sure to talk to your doctor to rule out more serious conditions.

    Read Also: Do Sinus Infections Get Better On Their Own

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    What Otc Pain Relief Medications Are Not Safe During Pregnancy

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are popular medications for pain relief and inflammation. OTC NSAIDs include medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen , and naproxen . But your healthcare provider may not recommend NSAIDs during pregnancy.

    Were not exactly sure how safe NSAIDS are in early pregnancy. NSAIDs taken before 20 weeks of pregnancy have a potential risk of miscarriage and birth defects. So to play it safe, its probably best to avoid them.

    And in 2020, the FDA warned that using NSAIDs around 20 weeks or later in pregnancy may cause serious kidney problems in an unborn baby. They also warned that they can lead to low amounts of amniotic fluid, which is the liquid that surrounds a baby in the womb. Plus, using NSAIDs like ibuprofen during the later stages of pregnancy may also cause certain heart and lung problems.

    If using an NSAID is necessary, try to limit it to the lowest effective dose and for the shortest amount of time possible. The FDA suggests an ultrasound to monitor for side effects if a pregnant woman uses an NSAID for more than 48 hours.

    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.

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    Detailed Data On Paracetamol Intake During Pregnancy

    Among women taking analgesics, the percentage of women using Paracetamol increases throughout pregnancy, while the percentage of women taking ibuprofen, the second most relevant analgesic drug, decreases . Of interest, between 9% and 14% of the women taking Paracetamol reported to have also taken at least one other analgesic, either as a combined product or by taking an additional drug. presents data regarding intake doses and duration for those women taking Paracetamol in the respective trimester if available. Overall, the majority of women took 500 mg Paracetamol/day and fell into the category of onetime users. Of note, the percentage of women in these groups decreased throughout the course of pregnancy. Concomitantly, an increasing percentage of women took between > 500 and 1500 mg Paracetamol . Also, the percentage of women taking Paracetamol over at least three continuous days increased from 18.7 to 33.3% in the third trimester. In accordance with these observations, both, the absolute Paracetamol dose and number of days per trimester with Paracetamol intake indicated that the majority of women took Paracetamol in low doses and at few days per trimester, although also higher intake doses and longer intake durations were observed for few women .

    Tylenol While Pregnant: Safe

    Tylenol Sinus And Headache Safe For Pregnancy

    Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, is the safest option to take during pregnancy however, take as little of it as possible for the shortest course, says Soma Mandal, MD, a board-certified internist at Summit Medical Group in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.

    Women who took acetaminophen were less likely to have birth defects, Dr. Mandal says of the study.

    While acetaminophen may be the drug of choice when looking for pain relief while pregnant, its still important to read the labels every time you purchase medication.

    Avoid combination medications, so you do not end up taking an unnecessary medication or a dangerous medication, says Danielle Plummer, Pharm.D., the founder of HG Pharmacist. For example, Excedrin has not only acetaminophen but also aspirin and caffeine, so avoid it.

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    Body Changes That Affect Exercise During Pregnancy

    There are many changes happening in your body during pregnancy. First, joints are more flexible from the hormones which cause certain muscles to relax during pregnancy. Your center of gravity or equilibrium is shifted from the extra weight in the front, as well as, your shifting hips.

    This can affect your balance as you near your due date. The extra weight will also cause your body to work harder than before you were pregnant.

    All of these factors may affect how you exercise and what exercises you choose to do. Remember, it is always recommended you consult your healthcare provider about exercises for your specific situation.

    Want to Know More?

    Compiled using information from the following sources:

    1. Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

    Which Medications Are Safe During Pregnancy

    Wondering which medications are safe for pregnant women to take? From Advil to Tylenol, Tums to Pepto, heres your cheatsheet when it comes to the most common conditions you may need to treat while youre expecting.

    Getting sick when youre pregnant can be scary enough without having to stress about whether popping pills that might ease your symptoms will harm your growing baby. One of the biggest things my pregnant patients are afraid of is ingesting something that may cause birth defects or negatively impact the babys development, says Alane Park, M.D., mother of two sons and co-author of The Mommy Docs Ultimate Guide To Pregnancy and Birth. The truth is that most medications are actually deemed fairly okay. While you want to minimize drug use as much as possible, the consequences of not taking a medication on the health of the mother and baby usually outweigh any potential risks.

    To get relief and feel more at ease throughout your pregnancy, check out Dr. Parks recommendations for safe medications while pregnant.

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    When Do Pregnancy Headaches Start

    Pregnancy headaches can become more frequent around nine weeks, when hormones and blood volume increase.

    But, in general, headaches during pregnancy can start any time and feel like a typical headache you might have had when you werent pregnant.

    The pain from a pregnancy headache might be concentrated on one side of the head, the sinuses, or both sides of the head, Columbo says.

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    What Medications Should I Avoid When Im Pregnant

    Pregnancy headaches

    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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    Is Nims Good For Tooth Pain

    Nims-P 100mg/500mg Tablet is a combination medicine that helps in relieving pain. It is used to relieve pain and inflammation in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and osteoarthritis. It is also used to relieve fever, muscle pain, back pain, toothache, or pain in the ear and throat.

    What Is The Best Treatment For Headaches While Pregnant

    If youre hoping to stop a headache naturally, there are plenty of pregnancy-safe steps you can take to battle your symptoms based on the common headache types:

    • For tension headaches and migraines: Lie in a dark, quiet room for a few minutes or if you’re at work, close your eyes and put your feet up. You can also put an ice pack or cold compress on the back of your neck for 20 minutes while you relax. Deep breathing and quiet meditation are two more smart ways to channel calming vibes.
    • For sinus headaches: A stuffy nose is very common in pregnancy, so try steam inhalation to relieve congestion and a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Apply hot and cold compresses to the achy spot, alternating 30 seconds of each for a total of 10 minutes, four times a day. Drinking lots of fluids, especially herbal tea or broth, can help clear stuffiness. And ask the doctor whether you could have a sinus infection and if theres a safe nasal decongestant you can use.
    • For all headaches: While you shouldnt take ibuprofen or Aleve when you’re pregnant, acetaminophen can bring relief and occasional use is considered safe for pregnancy. Always check with your practitioner for the right dosage and never take any medication without getting your doctors okay first.

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    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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