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Which Painkiller Can Safely Treat Headaches for Expecting Moms

Pregnants or Breastfeeding

Which Painkiller Can Safely Treat Headaches for Expecting Moms

Here's a description of three over-the-counter painkillers and their possible effects on you and your baby.

Suffering from a throbbing headache? When you’re pregnant, you can’t just pop any painkiller carelessly. After all, you’re carrying a baby in your belly, which means you have to think not just of your welfare, but your baby’s as well.

Certain medicines have adverse effects during the different stages of your pregnancy. Some may cause miscarriages, while others may even delay and prolong your labor.

But if headache and stress are wearing you down and you have tried all other home remedies to no avail, then it’s time for you to look at medicine that you can safely take without fear of harming yourself or your unborn child. And while you always have to talk to your OB-GYN before taking any medication during pregnancy, here’s a description of three over-the-counter painkillers and their possible effects on you and your baby:


Many people use aspirin as a headache treatment. It is generally not recommended to be taken as a painkiller if you’re pregnant.

Taking aspirin in your first trimester can have dire consequences. You’re risking yourself for pregnancy loss, as well as congenital disabilities for your child-to-be. Prolonged use during pregnancy can also increase bleeding in the brain, especially for premature infants.

However, some doctors allow you to take low doses of aspirin if you’re experiencing problems like recurring pregnancy loss, preeclampsia, and clotting disorders. Still, you should consult your obstetrician before taking aspirin for these problems.


Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID traditionally used to manage pain, inflammation, and fever.

If you’re pregnant though, taking ibuprofen for headache and stress is a risky move. It is classified as a C drug by the US Food and Drug Administration, which means that there isn’t enough research to determine the safety of the drug for pregnant women.

For one, ibuprofen can cause premature closure of your baby’s ductus arteriosus, a blood vessel that transports blood into the lungs of the growing fetus. If this blood vessel closes early, your baby can develop high blood pressure in the womb.

Plus, a 2011 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found out that women who took ibuprofen and other NSAIDs early in their pregnancy are more at risk for miscarriage. Ibuprofen gets even worse if you take it during your third trimester. There’s evidence that ibuprofen and other NSAIDs can cross the placental barrier and linger in the fetus , causing all kinds of adverse effects on fetal development.

Ibuprofen can also reduce the quantity of amniotic fluid, resulting in delayed and extended labor. This is dangerous not just for you, but more so for your baby as it can lower your baby’s oxygen levels and cause abnormal heart rhythms.


The only possible adverse effect happens when you combine paracetamol with caffeine . Taking in more than 200 mg of caffeine per day together with paracetamol can cause your baby to be born underweight. It might also lead to a miscarriage according to the UK's National Health Service.

Still, numerous studies have shown that paracetamol can safely relieve headache and stress while you’re pregnant. Make sure that you go for a trusted paracetamol brand like Biogesic that provides relief for headache and fever. And don’t forget to always consult your OB-GYN before taking any medicine during pregnancy.

Paracetamol is the generic name of Biogesic. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.

ASC Ref No: U030P061318B | U151P031920BS

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