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Sometimes we all get a headache and we often look for over the counter medication to help us out – and sometimes these headaches can get much worse and become a migraine.
In usual circumstances, we could go to the drug store and buy some excedrin to solve this problem, but when you’re pregnant – it’s not that simple.
Being pregnant means you’re not only responsible for your own health but also your baby’s health too and there are a number of health concerns for your baby when it comes to over the counter medications.
So, when you get a headache or migraine when you’re pregnant – is it safe to take excedrin?
It is generally safer to avoid excedrin products during pregnancy. If you need to take pain relief while pregnant, be sure to consult with your doctor prior to making a decision, as they will be able to advise based on your specific circumstances and monitor your condition accordingly.
This guide will let you know, along with some other very helpful information and very important notes to consider when you’re dealing with pain during pregnancy.
There Are Many Types of Excedrin
The first thing you need to know is that there are a variety of different types of excedrin. There are versions like extra strong, migraine or headache. When you’re pregnant, you’re not immune from getting the symptoms that apply to these types of medication.
This doesn’t mean to say that they’re safe to take though. Due to their ingredients which differ from product to product, things like aspirin and caffeine might be present and so might acetaminophen.
Therefore it comes as no surprise that many experts have looked at this problem extensively and still continue to debate whether or not these products are safe for pregnant people.
So, Can You Take Excedrin While Pregnant?
Let’s start with that last ingredient – acetaminophen. Experts have agreed that acetaminophen is entirely safe for someone to take while pregnant, unless of course they are allergic.
The biggest problem comes when we consider aspirin. Aspirin has had links to many conditions that a newborn might have such as Reye’s syndrome. This is a condition which is pretty rare but possible and it affects the baby’s liver function and brain function – causing serious damages.
It’s surprising though that the FDA have classified aspirin in a category C for people who are pregnant, but the truth of the matter is that the risks will certainly outweigh any benefits, and even though it’s at a category C, you still need to be wary of using it while pregnant.
In fact, most doctors will agree that you should probably avoid aspirin while pregnant if you can help it, and will very rarely offer it for use. The FDA even increases the category level when a person is in their third trimester to a category D.
This suggests that the risk to the baby’s development is very real and quite high – so as a rule, it’s better to avoid any products that have aspirin in them whilst you are pregnant.
But My Headache Is Bad – What Can I Do?
When you have a bad headache, reaching for an aspirin is usually the norm, but as we have explored – it comes with some very real risks to your baby’s development. Therefore, you’ll need to look at some alternatives to solve that pesky headache.
Luckily, excedrin offers a product that has no aspirin in it called excedrin tension. This medication aims to solve the pain and discomfort a person is feeling relating to headaches and migraines, where you feel that your head is in a vice.
In this circumstance though, you still need to exercise caution due to the fact that it still contains caffeine. Pregnant people can certainly have caffeine and enjoy things like a great cup of joe in the morning – but it’s recommended that you limit your caffeine intake.
Caffeine in large doses can affect your baby’s development pace and can, in rare circumstances, cause a premature birth. If however, you take caffeine and this medication responsibly and carefully – you are going to be fine.
If however, you’re looking to completely avoid any risks, you might be looking to alternative and natural therapies. A classic way that people often deal with headaches (and a classic scene on TV when someone has a hangover!) is to use an ice pack.
Ice packs act to reduce inflammation and emit a soothing, calming effect which slows down your racing mind and makes you think about other things that aren’t related to your pain.
If you can get out of the house, consider going to the spa and getting a pamper day. Getting a comfortable massage, fruity drinks and relaxing music, along with a warm bath can seriously help you both physiologically and psychologically.
It’s important that you stay hydrated too and dehydration is likely to make your headache feel worse.
Another way that people deal with headaches and it’s classic with flight-related headaches is to consume peppermint. You can take it either in a cup of tea or you can opt for a gum, which not only can clear their airways but can relieve some tension through the chewing process.
You could also think about utilizing plants. Certain plants like lavender and mint can improve oxygenation and general air circulation which can help you with your headache and provide a very calming effect at the same time.
Why Am I Getting Headaches?
There are so many reasons why a person will be getting headaches, and being pregnant can exacerbate these reasons and potentially make them more frequent.
Stress from work and at home is a classic reason and when your hormones are fluctuating, little problems can feel like huge ones. This in turn can cause headaches.
It’s recommended that at stressful times, you always take time out for yourself. Ensure you’re treating yourself as much as possible and turn to support when you need it the most.
The Bottom Line
There are some excedrin products you can take while pregnant, as long as it doesn’t contain aspirin. However, it is much safer to avoid it entirely and try natural alternatives.
If your headache persists, you should consult a doctor as soon as you can.