The Expectant Woman’s Guide to Medicine for Headaches

medicine for headaches

Medication is generally discouraged throughout the pregnancy period but a nasty headache or migraine might force one to take medicine for headaches. This is allowed in some cases where even physicians may agree that the dangers of not taking medication at some stages may greatly outweigh the effects of that particular medicine for headaches. So it is more or less a gamble for the lesser evil.

In many countries, the medicine board insists that medicines be classified into classes explaining their effects on the pregnant woman and her unborn child but you should still not pick out the medicine on your own.

Consult your physician on which medicine for headaches will be safe for you to take in the instance whereby it may be absolutely necessary for you to be placed under medication. This includes both prescription and over the counter medicine.

Medicine for Headaches – The American ABCDX Medicine Categorization

In America, pregnancy prescription medicines are classified into 5 classes namely A, B, C, D and X. this is a generalization of all the medications and not just medicine for headaches.

Category A

The medicines in this class have undergone numerous animal tests and control trials in pregnant women to certify that the medications possess no visible ham to the unborn child. There are neither birth defects nor abnormalities in the fetus.

This group has no preventative medicines listed though and so as soon as you realize you are pregnant, your physician will gradually get you of preventative drugs and on to abortive treatments.

Examples of medicines classified here include folic acid, Synthroid (Levothyroxine)

Category B

Medicines classified here are of 2 kinds. The first is those that have undergone animal studies and shown no increased risks on the fetal development; but there are no substantial controlled trials on pregnant women.

The second comprises those that have shown an effect in animal studies but the trials on pregnant women have not really shown increased risks on the unborn child.

Medicines under this category include metformin (Glucophage), Zofran (Ondansteron)

Category C

Medicines that fall under this category are also grouped into two. Either the medicines have shown severe effects in animal studies but here are no control trials on pregnant women; or animal studies are completely lacking with the control trials being inconclusive due to insufficient data findings.

This is the most confusing category because the medication may be safe or completely harmful.

Such medicines are Zoloft (Serttraline), Ventolin (Albuterol)

Category D

This category comprises those medications that have shown risks of fetal abnormalities through the controlled trial performed in pregnant women. However, it has also been reveled that the risks involved may be eliminated or reduced through appropriate therapy.

These are normally prescribed when the mother is in potential life-threatening risk.

Paxil (Paroxetine) and Phenytoin (Dilantin) fall in this group.

Category X

These medicines are generally discouraged during pregnancy because they have shown increased risks in birth defects through observation studies as well as trials on pregnant women.

They include Accutane (Isotretinoin), Warfarin (Coumadin)

Over the Counter Medicine for Headaches

You should realize that the above classification do not apply for over the counter medications: medicine for headaches or otherwise. This increases the emphasis as to why you should discuss such with your doctor prior to resulting to any kind of medication.

The reason for discussing medication with your healthcare provider is not just or the sole purpose of determining whether the medicine for headaches shall be harmful for the fetus. Other reasons include getting specific directions on how to take the medicine. During pregnancy, there is a noted increase in blood volume levels in the body and as such the heart and kidneys end up working harder than usual. As a result, the normal dosage of medicine may prove ineffective as the medicine passes through the body rather quickly without having time to work.

Whereas you may on normal occasion take aspirin or ipobrufen to cure a headache, such are completely discouraged during pregnancy. For migraines, the usual Divalproex sodium is also discouraged during pregnancy because such medicine for headaches may result in fetal birth defects.

Commonly Prescribed Medicine for Headaches During Pregnancy

So which are some of the medicine for headaches that may be rendered safe for the mother and the unborn child? Moderate doses of Acetaminophen such as Tylenol are the most referred medicine for headaches by doctors to expectant women. Others include preventative drugs such as beta-blockers and anti-depressants as well as narcotic arbotives.

Medications even when prescribed should be taken under the watchful observation of your physician. This will enable him find out whether the medicine for headaches is working and whether it is having any effect on your unborn child.

If you notice even the slightest side effects from the medication you are under, do not hesitate to let the physician know immediately. Discuss with him before deciding to go off the meditation. Abruptly ending medication could be just as dangerous as taking the medicine in the first place.

Continue reading Medicine for Headaches during Pregnancy: Dos and Don’ts