Ibuprofen in pregnancy


Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter pain medication in pharmacies up to a single dose of 400mg. It works by inhibiting enzymes, so that the production of "pain mediators" (prostaglandins) is stopped in the body and pain is alleviated.

Along with paracetamol, ibuprofen is one of the few pain relievers that is not completely prohibited during pregnancy. Nevertheless, special care is required and pain medication should only be used in consultation with the attending physician.

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Ibuprofen intake in different trimena

Ibuprofen intake in the 1st trimester

In the first trimester of pregnancy (this period corresponds to the 0th to 13th week of pregnancy), ibuprofen can be taken after consultation with the treating doctor. Studies have so far not shown any increased risk of malformations when taking ibuprofen within this period. There is no serious evidence of a developmental adverse effect on the child during the first trimester of pregnancy. However, when taking it, the exact dosage should always be strictly observed.

Read more on the topic: 1st trimester

Ibuprofen intake in the 2nd trimester

In the 2nd trimester of pregnancy (this period corresponds to the 14th to 27th week of pregnancy), as in the 1st trimester, there does not seem to be a scientifically proven increased risk of malformations and miscarriages through the use of ibuprofen. Taking ibuprofen in strictly regulated doses and in consultation with the attending physician can be considered. It should be ensured that the drug is actually being taken in the 2nd trimester and not taken at a later point in time.

The possible uses remain the same as in the 1st trimester.

Read more on the topic: 2nd trimester

Ibuprofen intake in the 3rd trimester

In the 3rd trimester of pregnancy (this period corresponds to the 28th to 42nd week of pregnancy), ibuprofen and other pain medication with a similar mode of action should be avoided.
In the fetus, ingestion can lead to a closure of vital vessels near the heart (ductus arteriosus botalli) and thus significantly worsen the supply of the fetus. Damage to the kidneys and the associated underactive kidneys in the fetus and newborns can also be caused by taking in the third trimester of pregnancy. See also: Malformations or frequent diseases of a newborn

The birth can be delayed by taking ibuprofen, as the drug also has an inhibitory effect on labor.

Because of the harmful effects of medication on the fetus, pain medication should be avoided if possible during the third trimester. Instead, general measures such as rest, adequate sleep, exercise, etc. should be used.

Read more on the topic: 3rd trimester

Side effects of ibuprofen in pregnant women

Ibuprofen can also be accompanied by various side effects during pregnancy. In this context, gastrointestinal complaints that are caused by taking the drug are the main ones.

Ibuprofen inhibits prostaglandin formation, so that the transmission of pain and inflammatory processes are shut down. But it also has an effect on gastric mucus production and gastric acid production. If fewer prostaglandins are formed, there is a disparity between protective mucus and aggressive stomach acid, so that heartburn and the risk of gastric ulcer formation increase with prolonged consumption. Nausea and vomiting can also occur.

Another side effect, especially during pregnancy, is delayed delivery. Prostaglandins usually increase labor. This effect is absent when prostaglandin formation is suppressed and the birth can be significantly delayed.

How harmful is ibuprofen in pregnancy?

As described above, the effect of ibuprofen during pregnancy depends on when it is taken, but is also dependent on the amount and frequency of the drug taken. It is thought to be damaging if taken after the 27thWeek of pregnancy, but the extent of the damage is difficult to predict.


How do you dose ibuprofen during pregnancy?

The dosage of the drug depends on the one hand on the individual requirements, but also on the complaints to be treated. In principle, the dosage should be discussed with the doctor. Over the counter in the pharmacy there are tablets with 200mg or 400mg each, with a prescription also with 600mg.

If the pain reliever is used once because of an acute headache or the like. If used, a higher dose may be considered. If it is taken regularly, it is advisable to have a doctor checked it.

How often can ibuprofen be taken during pregnancy?

The use of pain medication should not become a regular occurrence unless it is absolutely necessary. Other measures, such as Rest, lying up in case of pain in the feet / legs, enough sleep, relaxation techniques, etc. are taken.

Long-term medication can lead to increased side effects, which manifest themselves in gastrointestinal complaints, among other things. Long-term use is not recommended, especially during pregnancy, as the effect on the fetus cannot be reliably assessed.

How is ibuprofen recommended for toothache during pregnancy?

Ibuprofen can be used in the 1st and 2nd trimester for toothache, in the 3rd trimester its use should be avoided.
During pregnancy, changes in the hormonal balance can lead to changes in the composition of the saliva, making it easier for the gums to become inflamed (gingivitis or periodontitis). In addition, it is discussed in specialist circles that the hard tooth substance also changes in the course of pregnancy.

The best way to prevent dental problems and toothache is through comprehensive oral hygiene, especially during pregnancy. This can counteract possible inflammation of the gums and tooth roots.

Read on here: Toothache During Pregnancy

Further information:
  • Medication in Pregnancy
  • Painkillers in pregnancy
  • Pain during pregnancy
  • Abdominal pain during pregnancy
  • Headache in pregnancy
  • Ibuprofen while breastfeeding

General information on pregnancy can be found here.