When it comes to pregnancy, it’s important to take extra care to ensure that you’re not only taking care of yourself, but also your baby. This includes being extra mindful of any medications that you may need to take, as it’s essential to make sure that you’re not putting your pregnancy in any danger. One medication that is often asked about is Excedrin, and whether or not it’s safe to take when you’re expecting a child. In this blog post, we’ll go over what you should know about taking Excedrin while pregnant, and how to make sure you stay safe and healthy. We’ll also discuss potential alternatives to Excedrin if it’s not safe for you to take. Before considering taking any medication, however, it’s always best to talk to your doctor and get their approval first.
Which Excedrin is safe during pregnancy?
The products on the market are:
These two both contain acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine.
You should consult your doctor before using them, especially since they contain aspirin, and try to avoid using them after 20 weeks.
Then there is:
Bottom line: Since Excedrin Tension Headache doesn’t contain aspirin, it’s probably the safest Excedrin product.
But still, this path is better traveled with your doctor.
Why you might need Excedrin during pregnancy
We don’t need to tell you that migraines are more than just a severe headache if you’ve ever struggled with them.
They can cause severe pain and disruption in your life, and are frequently accompanied by nausea and heightened sensitivity to light and sound.
The good news is that, according to the American Migraine Foundation, between 50 and 80% of women who struggle with migraines actually have their symptoms ease off during pregnancy.
That might be because attacks like those are prevented by rising estrogen levels.
But this reprieve is not the case for everyone.
Some women continue to have migraines throughout their pregnancies.
Additionally, some women who had never previously experienced migraines begin to do so during or shortly after pregnancy.
So let’s find out if Excedrin can treat migraines during pregnancy.
In this article:
It’s crucial to consult your doctor before beginning any new medication while pregnant.
If you have a headache, a doctor can help you determine whether it is a migraine or something more serious.
For example, the symptoms of migraines can overlap with preeclampsia.
Let’s examine the main ingredients in most Excedrin products, acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine, and see if they are safe for use during pregnancy.
At least one of these ingredients can be found in every Excedrin product, and some contain all three.
Acetaminophen, also referred to as paracetamol or by the brand name Tylenol, is typically regarded as a safe option when it comes to pregnancy pain relievers, provided it is taken only as necessary.
Aspirin and pregnancy have a complex relationship with one another.
If taken at a low dosage under the guidance of your doctor, there’s evidence that it can be helpful as a preventative treatment for preeclampsia.
But it’s certainly not without its risks.
Aspirin is a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID).
The FDA cautions that some babies may develop rare kidney issues if they take NSAIDs after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Low amniotic fluid may result from this, which may complicate a baby’s growth and development.
Additionally, taking full-dose aspirin (like Excedrin) during the third trimester of pregnancy may cause the ductus arteriosus, a significant blood vessel in your unborn child’s heart, to close.
Aspirin-containing products should therefore be avoided after 20 weeks and taken cautiously before that.
Caffeine is safe to consume while pregnant as long as you keep your daily intake to 200 mg.
The Excedrin Extra Strength dosage recommended contains about 130 mg of caffeine.
Therefore, if you do consume a caffeine-containing Excedrin product, it’s important to think about other sources of caffeine you may be consuming that day.
Excedrin and a single shot of espresso or a caffeinated soda should be fine.
Excedrin taken with 8 ounces of freshly brewed coffee usually pushes you over the limit.
(And, surprisingly, most Starbucks brewed coffees, even the tall sizes, are already in excess of your 200 mg a day!)
Combining everything, the following is a possible Excedrin pregnancy timeline:
Lidocaine Nerve Blocks
Lidocaine is one of the additional treatments for which we have pretty solid evidence, according to Starling. “The FDA no longer uses pregnancy risk letter categories to indicate a drug’s safety during pregnancy, but when they did, lidocaine was a category B medication, so it was considered to have some data to show some safety in pregnancy,” the expert claims.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, nerve blocks, in which an anesthetic and sometimes a steroid are injected near the nerve to block pain, are considered a safe migraine intervention for pregnant women.
According to Starling, occipital nerve blocks, or lidocaine injections at the base of the skull, can be very effective at halting a migraine attack. According to her, this can relieve neck or base-of-skull pain as well as headaches that may radiate from the back of the head but settle behind the eyes. According to Starling, those are all typical sites for pain and migraines.
For my pregnant patients, I occasionally administer these injections once a month or even once a week. It frequently serves as a preventive measure for them or can be applied to stop an attack that may be ongoing, says she.
Can you take Excedrin with pregnant?
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Can you take Excedrin tension headache while pregnant?