Can You Take Excedrin While Pregnant

Can you take excedrin while pregnant?
Excedrin is an over-the-counter medication, used in treating pain caused by tension headache, muscle aches, migraine headaches, menstrual cramps, arthritis, and toothaches, but mostly in the treatment of migraine headaches.

You are pregnant and you have a terrible headache, usually, the first instinct is to take a pain relief medicine. Excedrin is one such medicine and it’s also available over-the-counter, but you are wondering if it is safe to take Excedrin while pregnant.

If you are pregnant and having a headache or any pain at all, the first thing you should do is to report to your doctor because a headache during pregnancy can be a sign of an even more severe health issue. So see your doctor first, to identify the cause of your headache.


Many women experience headaches during their first and third trimesters, this could be triggered by hormonal changes during pregnancy.
Common types of headaches you may experience during pregnancy are primary headaches such as tension headaches and migraines.

1. Tension Headaches: this type of headache is characterized by muscle tightness and is localized in the head and neck. With enough rest, this type of headache can be reduced

2. Migraine Headaches: this is a frequent and long-lasting type of headache that occurs on one side of the head. It caused neurological symptoms such as: Blurry vision Nausea Sensitivity to light Vomiting Hallucination. This type of headache in pregnant women is triggered by the change in the levels of estrogen.


Headache during your first trimester may differ from headache during your second or third trimester, and different factors caused these headaches.
In your first trimester, your body is learning to adjust, so you will experience hormonal changes, weight changes, increased blood volume, and decreased sugar levels. Any of these could be responsible for your headache.

Other factors that can cause a headache during your first trimester could be dependent on the things you do or the food you eat.

These factors include:

i. Dehydration

ii. Stress

iii. Poor nutrition

iv. Caffeine withdrawal

v. Consuming dairy products, chocolate, cheese, tomatoes, and yeast.

vi. Too little physical activity

In your second and third trimester, headaches can occur for different reasons such as: Muscle strain, stress or anxiety, extra weight gain, posture, diet and high blood pressure


Of all the causes of headaches listed in this article, the most concerning cause of headaches is high blood pressure and you can only find out about it if you check with your doctor once you begin to experience these headaches.

This condition can cause complications for both you and your baby and put you at risk of having: 

  • Stroke. 
  • Preeclampsia. 
  • Eclampsia.
  • Low supply of oxygen to the body.
  • Reduced baby weight (less than 5 pounds).
  • Preterm delivery (before 37 weeks).


The key ingredients found in Excedrin are acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine.
Acetaminophen is used in treating pain and fever, while aspirin works by reducing the substance in the body that caused pain, fever, and inflammation, and caffeine relaxes muscle contraction in the blood vessels to improve blood flow.

It is not safe to take Excedrin, especially in your third trimester because the medication contains full-dose aspirin which may cause harm to your unborn baby or increase the risk of complications during your delivery.


You should consult with your doctor before taking Excedrin during pregnancy. If your doctor recommends taking the medication, he may also advise that your amniotic fluid is monitored, because the use of full-dose aspirin longer than 48 hours, is linked with an increased risk of fetal harm, like kidney problems and an abnormal level of amniotic fluid.

Because not so much is known about caffeine’s effect on the baby during pregnancy, doctors however recommend that you reduce your caffeine intake during pregnancy, this is because caffeine raises your blood pressure which can make you hypertensive, which is a very risky condition in pregnancy.


Common side effects of Excedrin may include:

1. Stomach upset.

ii. Heartburn.

iii. Insomnia.

iv. Weak pulse.

v. Liver problems which can result in jaundice in children.

vi. Nausea.

vii. Dizziness.

viii. Skin Itching.


Instead of using Excedrin for your aches when you are pregnant, you can talk to your doctor about an alternative medication, since the aspirin and caffeine content in Excedrin can be deadly to both you and your unborn baby.

Your doctor might prescribe Midrin or Imitrex. Midrin is a commonly prescribed headache medication that contains acetaminophen. It works by reducing blood flow and pain.
Imitrex is another medication that reduced blood flow to the brain. It works best in the treatment of migraine. 

Other medications such as codeine, oxycodone, morphine, meperidine, fentanyl, and Vicodin, are all prescription analgesics that your doctor might recommend of them when the benefit of the drug outweighs the potential risk.

However, you can also use some natural remedies to combat these aches, instead of using Excedrin. You could try using a cold-ice pack to reduce the ache or try getting a massage, it could be helpful.


Taking Excedrin can be extremely fatal in your third trimester, while there are several safe painkillers out there for pregnant women, be sure to affirm from your doctor which one will be safe for you and will not have any effect on your unborn baby.

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