Pain relievers and pregnancy : what is safe and what is not


If you’re running a fever or suffering from nasty body aches or headaches, it’s generally considered safe to take products containing paracetamol or acetaminophen. Products containing aspirin or ibuprofen  or naproxen are not recommended to take while pregnant; they can interfere with your baby’s development in the early months and create problems during labor later on.

 When a pregnant woman takes medicine, some types are able to cross the placenta into the baby’s bloodstream. The medicine may then either harm the baby or interfere with its normal development. Different drugs have different effects at particular stages of pregnancy.

Get headaches checked

Headaches happen during pregnancy, just like during the rest of life, and in most cases there’s no worrying cause.

But there are one or two conditions specific to pregnancy which can cause headaches. In particular, an increase in blood pressure linked to pre-eclampsia and eclampsia may cause severe headaches – and this can be a dangerous development. This usually occurs later in the pregnancy than 12 weeks, but if the headaches persist, ensure you get your blood pressure checked.

A few simple rules:

– Always assume all medicine is potentially harmful, and avoid it in pregnancy until you’ve checked it out with a doctor or pharmacist.

– Tell your doctor if you might be pregnant before they give or prescribe any treatment to you.

-If you take regular medicine, tell your doctor as soon as you start to try for a baby.

– Always check with your practitioner before you take medication (prescription, over the counter, or homeopathic), or consult the instruction sheet he or she gave you on your first visit.

Posted by : Goral Gandhi, MSc,

                   Laboratory Director,

                   Rotunda – Center for Human Reproduction (Pvt) Ltd

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