Headaches can be a common side effect during pregnancy, and while they can typically be treated with home remedies, more severe headaches can require medication. In some cases, pregnant women may even require pain relief medication. However, while there are many options to choose from, it is important to select a safe painkiller that is safe for both mother and baby. In this blog post, we will discuss the various options available for safe painkiller in pregnancy for headache and provide guidance on what to consider when selecting a pain reliever. We will also provide an overview of the risks associated with common painkillers in pregnancy and discuss how to ensure the best outcome for both mother and baby.
What are the recommended treatments for pain in pregnancy?
This is heavily influenced by the kind and degree of the pain.
Your doctor may initially advise trying non-drug treatment options, such as: relaxation and deep breathing exercises, gentle exercise, physiotherapy, acupuncture, application of hot and cold packs, TENS, and pain management programs, where appropriate.
The preferred medication for mild to moderate pregnancy pain is paracetamol. It has a good safety profile based on a large number of pregnant women studied, and even though potential associations with autism and ADHD in children exposed in the womb have been suggested, some experts believe these findings to be unconvincing and remain unproven. Please refer to the bump leaflet on paracetamol use during pregnancy for more details.
In the first and second trimesters, a doctor may prescribe NSAIDs like ibuprofen, diclofenac, and naproxen. NSAIDs shouldn’t be used after 30 weeks of pregnancy because they could harm the unborn child’s health. Please refer to the bump leaflets for Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, and Naproxen for more details.
Codeine use during pregnancy, especially in the final weeks before delivery, can have a number of negative effects, including withdrawal symptoms in the newborn. Therefore, your doctor may only recommend it if other treatment options have failed, are inappropriate for you, or could not be used. The bump leaflet on codeine contains more details on the negative effects of use during pregnancy.
Opiates/opioids The opiate/opioid family of analgesics, which also includes morphine, tramadol, oxycodone, fentanyl, diamorphine, buprenorphine, and meptazinol, is used to treat severe pain, some of which is used during labor. Although these drugs are addictive and can lose some of their effectiveness with repeated use, some people may view their use as necessary. Obstetricians typically provide care for pregnant women who need to take opiates or other opioids on a regular basis. Fewer pregnant women who take these medications have been studied. Your doctor will assist you in weighing the benefits of treatment against any potential risks to you or your unborn child when deciding whether to use an opiate or opioid during pregnancy. Any opiate or opioid medication taken close to the time of delivery may result in the baby needing assistance breathing after birth. It may also cause the baby to experience withdrawal symptoms, which may necessitate short-term treatment.
See the individual bump leaflets for morphine, tramadol, and fentanyl for detailed information on using some of these medications during pregnancy.
Codeine, morphine, and oxycodone are examples of the potent medications known as opioids that doctors can prescribe to treat pain. Additionally, they are the prescription drugs that are misused the most frequently in the U S.
If you already take opioids, your doctor might advise against stopping abruptly once you become pregnant because doing so could harm your health or the unborn child. Instead, they might want to gradually reduce the dosage of the medication you take to avoid any withdrawal symptoms.
Most likely, your doctor has advised you not to take any medications without first consulting them. Do you need to consult them even if you just want to take a painkiller, you might be wondering.
Simply avoid acetaminophen if you are allergic to it, have liver issues, or if your doctor has advised against it for you.
According to additional research, taking acetaminophen daily or nearly daily during the second half of pregnancy increases the likelihood that your unborn child will develop asthma or wheezing.
Treatment of neuropathic pain in pregnancy
Standard painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen rarely work to relieve the severe nerve pain known as neuropathic pain. Sciatica, shingles, and diabetic neuropathy are among the conditions that result in neuropathic pain. There are no specific recommendations for treating neuropathic pain in expectant mothers. Amitriptyline (usually prescribed first) and then possibly duloxetine, gabapentin, or pregabalin are medication options that may be considered as part of treatment under the general supervision of an obstetrician and pain specialist. While duloxetine, gabapentin, and pregabalin are less frequently used to treat pain in pregnancy than amitriptyline, it is still quite common.
Your doctor will work with you to weigh the advantages of each treatment against any potential risks to you or your unborn child before recommending a course of treatment. Some of these medications can cause withdrawal symptoms in the infant, which may necessitate short-term treatment, if taken close to delivery. Please refer to the individual bump leaflets for amitriptyline, duloxetine, gabapentin, and pregabalin for more details on these medications.
Which painkiller is best for headache during pregnancy?
Which painkillers is safe during pregnancy?