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Pregnancy Topics..

You are here : home > Pregnancy > Medical Aspects of Pregnancy > Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID, example: brufen)

Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID, example: brufen)

Are you aware of the effects of taking non non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs during pregnancy? Read on to learn more about it

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed to pregnant women in case of fever, pain and inflammation. This has been quite effective in delaying premature birth as the delivery can be delayed from 48 hours to 7 – 8 days. Pregnant women should discuss and consult their obstetrician before using any kind of medicine during pregnancy. Let us take a look at the effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on pregnancy.

Effects of Ibuprofen on Pregnancy

When taken at term, they prolong labour.  Therefore these products are best avoided late in pregnancy.

Effects of Rheumatism Drugs (Antirheumatic) on Pregnancy

Because of the long half-life of an anti-rheumatic drug called amiodarone and its major metabolite, there is a potential for it to cause abnormal thyroid function and bradycardia in the foetus.  For this reason, its use is best avoided in the three months before and throughout the duration of pregnancy.  Where exposure of the foetus is unavoidable, thyroid function (including TSH) should be assessed promptly in the neonate.

Effects of Quinine on Pregnancy

High doses of quinine (and quinidine) also causes foetal injuries in the form of deafness, developmental disturbances and malformations of the extremities and cranium.  Its ability to also leads to a risk of abortion.

Risks of Taking Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs on Pregnancy

There is no doubt that severe and persistent pain might result in anxiety, depression and high blood pressure in a pregnant woman. However, it is important to weigh the benefits and risks involved before taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs when you are pregnant. And no drug or medicine should be taken without an obstetrician’s consent during pregnancy.

1. Risk of Pulmonary Hypertension

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used during pregnancy increases the risk of pulmonary hypertension in the newborn. This is a type of high blood pressure and affects arteries in the lungs and right side of the heart. This results in weakening of heart muscles and eventually failure. Some forms of this disease are serious and sometimes fatal.

2. Risk of Miscarriage

Normally taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatorydrugs in the first half of pregnancy carries risks of miscarriage. The risks are high if the drugs are taken around the time of conception or are used for longer than a week.

3. Risks to Foetal Kidney

High doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs during third trimester reduce perfusion of the foetal kidneys and even decrease the urine output of foetus.

4. Risks of Birth Defects

Opioids, though available only through prescription, carries the risk of birth defects related to brain, spinal cord or spine. The risk is high if the NSAID is taken during the first trimester.

5. Risks of ADHD

Acetaminophen carries the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children born to women who have taken this drug anytime during pregnancy. This medicine is a common pain reliever and fever reducer and this component is found in common medicines used to treat flu, colds, sleep problems or allergies.

In fact, NSAIDs given to pregnant women goes through the placenta and carries the risk of causing adverse effects on the mother and the child. However, the type of medicine, duration of therapy and dose also matter a lot. Since the risks are high and many, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are given to pregnant women only if the maternal benefits outweigh the potential risks for foetus. Doctors make sure that the drugs are of lowest effective dose and for shortest duration possible.

Effects of Paracetamol during Pregnancy

Paracetamol is the safest of all NSAIDs and so it is given for relief in pain and fever during pregnancy. But, pregnant women should not take it without consulting their obstetrician.  They should stay assured that there are safe options to treat pain during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Soaking your feet in lukewarm water and adding rock salt to it would bring in relief from fever and pain.

Taking care of yourself during pregnancy is very important. It is experienced once or twice in the lifetime and so giving special care should be the priority of all women. Here are some points to be taken care of throughout the pregnancy period.
  • Eat well-balanced and nutritional food.
  • Gentle exercise or yoga is recommended.
  • Gentle massage in the affected area can also help you get some relief from pain.
  • Therapies like aromatherapy, homeopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicines and many more therapies help you get relief from discomfort without affecting your child. However, a pregnant woman must undergo these therapies only after consulting her obstetrician and should get them done from professionals only. 
In any case you would need help when you are in pain and might also feel low. Sometimes attending your emotional needs also help you feel relaxed and comfortable. Make sure things you opt for make you feel better. Try natural and safe prenatal pain fighters and complete the journey of ups and downs in pregnancy.

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Mahesh.5 years ago
is paracetamol safe during pregnancy as it is regarded as the safest medicine....
Ashima Shah.5 years ago
painkillers if taken without caution have a detrimental affect on pregnancy....she should consult a doctor for alternative safe medicines..
Ushma.5 years ago
my friend has a habit of popping in a painkiller when ever she experiences pain....i am worried about her as she is pregnant
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