Pain killers in pregnancy

During pregnancy, back ache, sore limbs, headaches and other discomforts might tempt you to pain killers, but what is safe?

Across the board, it is important to use medicines during pregnancy with caution. Always mention to a GP prescribing medication that you are pregnant (or that you are trying for a baby, or think you might be pregnant), and to a pharmacist if you are buying medication over the counter.

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What pain killers are safe during pregnancy?

So long you do not exceed recommended dosages, paracetamol should be safe to take, unless you have a long-term medical reason to avoid it. Paracetamol can be good for combatting flu and some aches and pains.
Due to side effects, some more ‘powerful’ drugs are not advised during pregnancy. For example, pain killers like Ibruprofen and Nurofen may affect the baby, and aspirin has a blood-thinning effect which may be harmful, unless a GP knows that your own condition is up to taking it.

If you sometimes use essential oils or homeopathy for pain and stress relief, you should also treat any such treatments with extreme caution and seek professional advice, or go to a good pharmacy stocking these, stating that you are pregnant (or trying), before using them.

If you feel the need for stronger pain relief, speak to your GP or your obstetrician as there are some pain relief medications used around labour and late pregnancy which might possibly be prescribed.

If you are unwell during pregnancy

It is important to know what happens if you get sick during pregnancy as some medication is needed to clear certain illnesses (bronchitis, for example).
If you get recurrent headaches during pregnancy address issues like stress (possibly try yoga or other relaxing techniques) and whether you may have a lack of enough drinking water during your day. If the headaches still persist, see your GP.

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