ZocdocAnswersShould pregnant women take ibuprofen?

Question

Should pregnant women take ibuprofen?

I am pregnant. Should I avoid ibuprofen? I've been getting a lot of muscle aches and want to take something for them. Someone said they are bad for pregnant women though.

Answer

The short answer is yes, pregnant women should avoid ibuprofen. While the risks of taking ibuprofen while you are pregnant depend on what trimester you are in, my general approach is to avoid it all together if possible. Ibuprofen in higher doses does have the ability to damage your baby. Without going into the details, I tell all my pregnant women to avoid it. If you are in a situation where you need to take ibuprofen for your muscle aches and nothing else works, then you can speak to your OBGYN about a regimen that may be safe during certain times of your pregnancy. A safer approach would be to switch from ibuprofen for pain control to acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol). Acetaminophen is one of the few medications where there is an extremely high level of confidence that there is no harm to a fetus or baby if consumed in the recommended doses. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your OBGYN. The two of you can discuss the best method for you to control your pain while keeping your baby healthy. Once you have chosen a medication, then you can discuss the appropriate safe dosing so that you know how best to control your pain. Good luck.

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