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Ordinary Aches and Pains

During pregnancy, you may still suffer from everyday aches and pains. However, you may need to treat them differently now for your baby's sake. Speak with your doctor before using any OTC remedies (including pain relievers, supplements, vitamins, and herbal remedies). In general, avoid any drugs during the first trimester except those prescribed or recommended by your doctor.

Most doctors recommend regular-strength acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve minor aches and pains. OTC medications to avoid during pregnancy include:

  • Aspirin. Research has suggested that aspirin may cause birth defects, low birth weight, and delivery complications.
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). These medications, including aspirin, are called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They may cause heart defects and delivery problems, especially if taken during the third trimester.
  • Drugs labeled extra strength, maximum strength, or long-acting. As the label suggests, these are more potent per dose, and more is not always better, especially during pregnancy.
  • Multi-symptom medicines. Ask your doctor and take the medication that treats only the symptom you have. Speak to your doctor if you feel like you need more than one medication.