Can You Take Painkillers When Pregnant?

Knowing the potential effects of a medication on your unborn child is crucial when determining whether to take it while pregnant.

In pregnancy, if you need any medication, you must ask your pharmacist or doctor whether any medicines, including painkillers, are suitable for you or not.

Knowing the potential effects of a medication on your unborn child is crucial when determining whether to take it while pregnant. This is true for both prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines you purchase from a pharmacy or store.

OTC Painkillers During Pregnancy

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are available without a prescription. Painkillers are also called analgesics and can be available without a prescription, OTC. Prescription- painkillers are often stronger than OTC medications, and they also frequently pose a greater risk to the developing baby. Moreover, some OTC analgesics may also carry some danger.


Acetaminophen is thought to be safe for use during pregnancy. Researchers have extensively investigated it, and it is used to treat headaches, fever, aches, pains, and sore throats. It is safe for use during each of the three prenatal trimesters.  It is often used during pregnancy. During the first trimester, almost 50% of pregnant women use acetaminophen.

But, there are some concerns about it. The use of acetaminophen during pregnancy has been linked in research to behavioral issues in children, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Recently, research discovered that children who were diagnosed with autism and/or ADHD as children were more likely to have been subjected to high quantities of acetaminophen when in the womb.


NSAIDs are a class of drugs; the most commonly used include naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin. However, in many cases, aspirin is not indicated for use in pregnancy.


There are many negative consequences linked with the use of codeine during pregnancy, particularly in the last weeks before delivery. These include withdrawal symptoms in the newborn. Thus, it may only be suggested by your doctor if the other treatment alternatives have failed, are inappropriate for you, or have been ineffective.


Opioid analgesics are painkillers from the opiate/opioid family. Common names include morphine, tramadol, oxycodone, fentanyl, diamorphine, buprenorphine, and meptazinol. They are prescribed for severe pain, including some during labor. The addiction potential is high for these medicines and they can lose part of their effectiveness with repeated usage, yet for certain patients, their use may be vital. Generally, an obstetrician will treat pregnant women who need continuing opiates or opioid medication. Few pregnant women who take these medications have been investigated. Any opiate or opioid medication taken close to delivery may result in the infant needing assistance breathing after birth. It may also cause the baby to experience withdrawal symptoms, which may demand short-term medical attention.

Recommended Painkiller in Pregnancy

The most recommended pain reliever for usage during pregnancy is paracetamol, which may be used without a doctor’s supervision. Before knowing they were pregnant, it is not unusual for women to take a range of painkillers early on. In general, this kind of usage is not anticipated to damage the infant. It is crucial for women who use NSAIDs for an extended period to talk to their doctor before becoming pregnant since, if at all feasible, their medication will need to be changed before week 30 of pregnancy.

Other Painkilling Remedies in Pregnancy

Not all complimentary treatments or “natural” cures are safe during pregnancy. Some products may not be of the highest quality and could include additional, potentially dangerous materials like lead. Additionally, it is recommended not to consume herbal medicines when attempting to conceive. Informing your doctor or pharmacist about any herbal, homeopathic, or aromatherapy treatments you are taking is essential. When using any of these treatments, you must always seek the advice of a trained healthcare professional.

Follow Us

Schedule Online or Walk-In Today