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Can you take Excedrin Migraine while pregnant?

Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on Oct 6, 2021.

Official answer

by Drugs.com

It is not safe to take Excedrin Migraine during the third trimester of pregnancy because this medication contains aspirin, which may cause harm to your unborn baby or increase your risk of complications during delivery.

Taking Excedrin Migraine or other medications containing aspirin in your third trimester increases the risk of a rare congenital heart defect called premature closure of the ductus arteriosus, and it increases the risk of excessive blood loss during delivery, putting both you and your baby at risk.

Consult with your health care provider before taking Excedrin Migraine during your first two trimesters as well, since it contains full-dose aspirin.

  • Although low-dose aspirin is considered safe during pregnancy, it is recommended that you avoid full-dose aspirin after your 20th week of gestation.
  • If full-dose aspirin must be used during this time, it is recommended that you limit the dosage as well as the duration.
  • If you are taking Excedrin Migraine, your doctor may advise that your amniotic fluid is monitored because the use of full-dose aspirin for longer than 48 hours is linked with an increased risk of fetal harm, including kidney problems and a lower-than-normal level of amniotic fluid.

Excedrin Migraine also contains acetaminophen, which is considered safe to take throughout pregnancy.

It also contains caffeine.

  • There is about as much caffeine (130 mg) in the recommended 2-tablet dose of Excedrin Migraine as there is in one 8-ounce cup of coffee.
  • Caffeine is a stimulant that raises your blood pressure, and any caffeine that you ingest passes through the placenta to your baby.
  • Because little is known about how caffeine affects your baby during pregnancy, many doctors recommend limiting caffeine intake to 200 mg per day.

Be sure to consult with your health care provider before taking Excedrin Migraine or any other medication that contains caffeine or aspirin throughout the duration of your pregnancy.

References
  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine DailyMed. Excedrin Migraine. October 2019. Available at: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=7ed841fb-a61c-4868-b4e5-4f2311a5e79c. [Accessed September 19, 2021].
  2. Aker K, Brantberg A, Nyrnes S. Prenatal constriction of the ductus arteriosus following maternal diclofenac medication in the third trimester. BMJ Case Reports. 2015. https://dx.doi.org/10.1136%2Fbcr-2015-210473.
  3. UK Teratology Information Service. Use of Aspirin and Aspirin Overdose in Pregnancy. July 2019. Available at: https://www.medicinesinpregnancy.org/bumps/monographs/USE-OF-ASPIRIN-AND-ASPIRIN-OVERDOSE-IN-PREGNANCY/. [Accessed September 22, 2021].
  4. Excedrin.com. Excedrin Migraine Drug Facts. 2021. Available at: https://www.excedrin.com/content/dam/cf-consumer-healthcare/bp-excedrin/en_US/documents/MIGRAINE_DRUGFACTS_0923.pdf#zoom=100. [Accessed September 19, 2021].
  5. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA recommends avoiding use of NSAIDS in pregnancy at 20 weeks or later because they can result in low amniotic fluid. October 2020. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-recommends-avoiding-use-nsaids-pregnancy-20-weeks-or-later-because-they-can-result-low-amniotic. [Accessed September 19, 2021].
  6. March of Dimes. Caffeine in Pregnancy. 2021. Available at: https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/caffeine-in-pregnancy.aspx. [Accessed September 19, 2021].

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