Pain relief during pregnancy

Common pain and fever medication guidelines during pregnancy: The long and the short of it.

Any medication taken during pregnancy should be at the LOWEST effective dose and for the SHORTEST duration.

1. Paracetamol (Panadol)
Paracetamol is the first choice for pain relief medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
It is safe to take throughout ALL stages of pregnancy.

2. NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, low-dose Aspirin, Voltaren)
Not recommended during the first trimester.
Second trimester is safe for occasional use, no more than 48 hours.
Avoid during third trimester.

3. Opioid (Codeine)
Minimal use is safe. Given that Opioid’s are addictive, emphasis is on MINIMAL use. Persistent use can cause maternal dependence which leads to withdrawal in the neonate.

Safe nasal sprays to treat hay fever during all trimesters of pregnancy is Dristan nasal decongestant and Fess saline nasal spray. Safe anti-histamine medication through all trimesters is Polaramine, although this is a sedating anti-histamine so best to take this at night. Claratyne is safe to use during the second and third trimester, to be avoided in the first.