Pregnancy is associated with a lot of discomforts. In fact, different discomforts go alongside your pregnancy at different trimesters. When discomfort progresses to pain, medication necessitates for getting relief. As you know that the painkiller is otherwise called analgesic and it has some significant potential risks on the growth of the fetus, you should consult with your obstetrician-gynecologist before taking it from over the counter (OTC). You should be diligent enough for pain medicine in pregnancy and don’t purchase any medicine without the strength of a prescription to avoid any risk.
Painkillers during pregnancy
Two types of painkillers are there depending on their composition:
- Acetaminophen is the active component of Tylenol that is considered to be safe during pregnancy as proved in different researches. Acetaminophen is primarily used to reduce headache, pain, ache, fever, and throat soreness. It can be consumed during all trimesters of the pregnancy.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) that include the following:
- Aspirin, which contains salicylic acid as an active component. It can cause risk to both mother and fetus as well, and if it is consumed before delivery, it may cause heavy bleeding during labor to mom-to-be. Though during certain medical conditions like preeclampsia, aspirin is prescribed to women to protect deadly blood clots to such patients.
- Ibuprofen and naproxen are relatively safer NSAIDs drugs. However, these medications also need to be consulted with the doctor before consumption. Both the drugs are comparatively safe to use during the first two trimesters of the pregnancy but the use of them during the third trimester may risk heavy bleeding during the labor and delivery process.
The commonly recommended painkillers are classified as opioids which are derived from the poppy plant. The opioids are carefully considered as narcotics and obviously illegal to use without a doctor’s authorization. Such type of painkiller is used for intense pain due to surgical process, severe injury, dental surgery, and migraine headaches. These classified drugs are available in different forms and brand names including OxyContin (oxycodone), Raxanol (morphine), Duragesic (fentanyl), codeine, Percocet (oxycodone, acetaminophen), Demerol (meperidine), and Vicodin (hydrocodone, acetaminophen). Physicians prescribe these drugs to pregnant women sporadically when the expected benefits of the drugs outweigh the potential risk of the concerned patient. However, it is always suggested that before using any opioid drug, you should consult your obstetrician-gynecologist as there is no such research-work that recommends a safe level rather frequent use of it can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature delivery. Not only that, the just borne baby may have breathing trouble, low-weight, feeding problems also due to the use of such drugs during pregnancy.
It is, therefore, suggested every care and caution needs to be exercised in order to minimize the risk of the potential threat of using opioid toxicity in both a pregnant woman and her baby. The short-term consumption of such a drug unlikely poses any significant threat to the mother and her baby but continuous or long-term consumption can impact a significant threat to both the pregnant woman and her fetus or baby.