What pain medication is safe for pregnancy?

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the preferred over-the-counter pain reliever for use during pregnancy. It is considered safe and effective in relieving pain in all trimesters. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) include aspirin, as well as Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen). For the most part, aspirin is not recommended during pregnancy.

You and your provider can weigh the benefits and risks of medications you take, such as opioids, to achieve the healthiest possible pregnancy. When your quality of life suffers and natural solutions don't reduce it, acetaminophen is an acceptable option for pain relief during pregnancy. Naveed Saleh, MD, MS, is a medical editor and editor who covers new treatments and hot health news. Depression is a medical condition that causes feelings of sadness and loss of interest in the things you like to do.

NSAID class medications, such as Motrin and Advil, are often avoided during pregnancy because of the risks of lower amniotic fluid levels in the third trimester (meaning less cushioning for the baby and more pressure on his lifeline, the umbilical cord), says Dr. Ideally, discussion of what continuing medications during pregnancy would occur during a pre-conception consultation with your obstetrician-gynecologist or specialist. Methadone and buprenorphine help reduce the need for opioids in a way that is safe for you and your baby. Through Treat for Two, CDC is working with its partners, other federal agencies, and the general public to understand trends in drug use among pregnant women and women of reproductive age and to provide women and health care providers with information about safety or health care risk of using specific medications during pregnancy.

More research is also needed to understand which medications are the safest treatment options for pain management during different stages of pregnancy. While acetaminophen may be the medication of choice when looking to relieve pain during pregnancy, it's still important to read the labels every time you buy a medication. However, more research is needed to understand if the risk of birth defects is related to the medication or the conditions for which they are used. Opioids (codeine, morphine, oxycodone) are a class of potent medications that doctors can prescribe to treat pain.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 9 out of 10 pregnant women reported taking pain relievers during pregnancy. Ibuprofen and naproxen are often considered safer NSAID options, because these drugs have a lower risk of developing gastrointestinal symptoms and other side effects.