Is It Safe To Take Ibuprofen During Pregnancy?

ibuprofen during pregnancy

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Pregnancy is a time when even normal drugs can have deadly side effects. It is best restrict your medications during pregnancy to only those which are prescribed by your doctor.

There are several medicines which can cause side effects and harm your unborn baby. Taking over the counter drugs must be strictly avoided, as you never know how they will affect your body. One such drug is ibuprofen, a common pain killer.

Know About Ibuprofen During Pregnancy:

Ibuprofen is a drug belonging to the category of non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAID). It is also found as a component in medicines like Advil and Motrin.

  • It is categorized in Group C by the US Food and Drug Administration for pregnant women in first and second trimesters and in group D for those in last trimester.
  • Most of the medicines in the NSAID category must be avoided during pregnancy, because they can pose danger to you as well as your baby.
  • Even for women who are trying to conceive, ibuprofen can pose a
    challenge. It reduces the production of prostaglandins, which is crucial for ovulation and placement of embryo in the uterus.

[ Read: Folic Acid During Pregnancy ]

Risks During First Trimester:

If you are taking ibuprofen during pregnancy, (the initial 12 weeks) the following risks might happen:

  • Increase in chances of miscarriage by almost 50% on regular use of the drug.
  • Chances of developing deformities in your child.
  • Deficiency can happen in the abdominal wall.

Hence, you should stay away from using ibuprofen during this stage.

Risks During Second Trimester:

During the second trimester, the risks are somewhat similar to those in the first trimester. However, this stage is considered the safest for pregnant women.

So if your doctor allows, and the benefit of taking ibuprofen is substantial, then you can have the medicine once in a while.

[ Read: Calcium Tablets During Pregnancy ]

Risks During Third Trimester:

The danger from having ibuprofen is the greatest during the last trimester. It is a crucial period when organs of your baby take final shape and you are approaching delivery. The following risks can be there:

1. It causes Pulmonary Hypertension. This is a problem where,

  • A passage in your baby’s heart, which carries blood beyond the lungs, closes prematurely.
  • This causes defects in heart and high blood pressure in the lungs.
  • It can damage these vital body parts causing serious complications.
  • It can also interfere with breathing, thus increasing the risk of death.
  • Reduction in amniotic fluid levels, resulting in labour complications.

2. Delay the onset of labour pains and prolong the process of labour.

3. Traces of ibuprofen can be found in milk, thus making breast feeding unsafe.

To steer clear of all these risks, ibuprofen must be avoided completely during the final months.

Alternative Pain Killers:

Now that you are aware of the risks caused by ibuprofen, you will in all probability abstain from taking it. However, there can be severe and unbearable pain or spasms during pregnancy and you may need some pain killers.

  • Paracetamol is considered safe enough by most medical practitioners.
  • Tylenol is a medicine that can be useful and it is also in the non-risk category. In fact, it is also prescribed for young children.
  • Other pain killers which your doctor may advice.

[ Read: Iron Tablets During Pregnancy ]

While many pregnant women have taken ibuprofen without facing any after effects, it is better to be cautious, since every pregnancy is unique.

Ibuprofen can sometimes turn risky when taken with other drugs, especially when you are being treated for some pre existing ailment during pregnancy. So consulting your doctor, who knows your medical history and medicines you are taking, is absolutely essential before you pop the pill.

Did you took or take ibuprofen in early pregnancy? Do share your experiences with us:

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