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Can I Take Excedrin While Pregnant

Can I Take Excedrin While Pregnant

If you suffer from severe headaches (or more severe migraines) during pregnancy, you may wonder if relief is possible. There are medications that are safe to take during pregnancy, but experts are debating whether exedrin is one of them. Exedrin, a popular pain reliever, comes in several varieties, including extra strength exedrin, exedrine migraines, and exedrine tension headaches. Each variant of Excedrin contains some or all of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine.

It is important to talk to your doctor before taking any new medications during pregnancy.

Your doctor will help you determine if your headache is a migraine or something more serious.

For example, the symptoms of migraine may overlap with preeclampsia.

To find out if exedrine is a good choice for you, let's take a look at the main ingredients in most exedrin products (acetaminophen, aspirin, caffeine) and whether they are safe for pregnancy.

All exedrin products contain at least one of these ingredients, and some contain all three.


Acetaminophen, also known as Paracetamol or the brand name Tylenol, is generally considered a safe option when it comes to pregnancy pain relievers when taken only when needed.


Aspirin and pregnancy have a complex relationship with each other.

There is some evidence that it may be helpful in the preventive treatment of preeclampsia when taken in low doses as directed by your doctor.

But it is not without risk.

Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

The FDA warns that using NSAIDs after 20 weeks can cause rare kidney problems in some babies.

This, in turn, can lead to a lack of amniotic fluid, which can lead to complications in the growth and development of the baby.

Also, taking full doses of aspirin (such as Excedrin) in the third trimester of pregnancy may block the arteriosclerosis, an important blood vessel in the baby's heart.

Therefore, it is generally best to avoid products containing aspirin after 20 weeks and take them with caution in advance.


Caffeine is fine during pregnancy as long as you are limited to 200 mg per day.

The recommended dosage for Excedrin Extra Strength is about 130 mg of caffeine.

Therefore, if you are taking exedrin products that contain caffeine, it is important to consider other sources of caffeine you are consuming that day.

Exedrin and a glass of espresso or caffeinated soda would be fine.

An 8 oz brewed coffee combined with Excedrin will generally push the limits.

(Surprisingly, most Starbucks-brewed coffees already exceed 200mg per day, even if you are tall!)

Putting all this together, your Excedrin pregnancy schedule might look like this:

Which exedrin is safe during pregnancy?

Products on the market include:

Excedrin Extra Strength for temporary relief of minor aches and pains. It can be helpful if you have a headache, toothache, muscle pain or a cold.

Excedrin migraine, yes, migraine.

Both of these contain acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine.

In particular, as it contains aspirin, consult your doctor before use and avoid taking it after 20 weeks.

There are:

Excedrin tension headache for head, back and shoulder pain caused by tension and stress. These are acetaminophen and caffeine. It is less dangerous because it does not contain aspirin, but should still be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

And finally:

Excedrin PM Headache relieves aches and pains and helps you get a good night's sleep. It also contains acetaminophen and aspirin, but also an antihistamine called diphenhydramine citrate. Diphenhydramine citrate can be taken in small doses during pregnancy as long as the benefits outweigh the risks, as the FDA says. And the same warning applies to other ingredients.

So what's the conclusion? The safest exedrine product is probably Exedrine Tension Headache. Because it does not contain aspirin.

However, it is still recommended to travel this route with a doctor.

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