Four Over the Counter Medicines for Headaches and Pregnancy

Four Over the Counter Medicines for Headaches and Pregnancy

If you have been pregnant before, you know headaches and migraines are a common and unfortunate side effect. You get headaches due to the change in your hormones when getting pregnant, and they can range in intensity from tolerable to unbearable. Migraines, especially, can be debilitating. Unfortunately, most over-the-counter and prescription medications are not acceptable to use during pregnancy as they can affect your unborn baby and come with a variety of risks. However, the following medications can be purchased without a prescription and may help you get the relief you need. Before taking any kind of medicine during pregnancy, you should consult your doctor. It may also help to alleviate your headache or migraine naturally, such as drinking plenty of water, eating a meal, and getting rest.


The most common type of safe medication to take during pregnancy is acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, Tylenol Extra Strength, and Tylenol Gelcaps. Even the full and extra strength versions of Tylenol and other brands of acetaminophens are considered safe during pregnancy. As with all medications, you should ask your doctor before taking them and always follow the directions on the bottle.


Aspirin is a somewhat controversial topic as to its safety during pregnancy. You should ask your doctor prior to taking aspirin during pregnancy and only take it if it is the only thing available and you can’t shake your headache. Aspirin is deemed safe by some experts, while others don’t think it is safe. It is important to avoid taking aspirin near conception or in your 3rd trimester as it can increase bleeding. Many experts believe a low-dose aspirin such as baby aspirin is ok to take during the beginning and middle of your pregnancy if acetaminophen isn’t available.

Cold, Flu and Sinus

Many times, the headaches experienced during pregnancy are a result of an illness such as a cold or flu, or sinus problems. If this is the case, taking an over-the-counter cold, flu or sinus medication may help relieve your headache. The medications that are considered safe to take during pregnancy are Actifed, Theraflu, Vicks 44, Tylenol Cold and Sinus, and NyQuil. Be sure to ask your doctor before taking any of these medications.

Allergy Medicine

Lastly, to alleviate a headache caused by seasonal allergies, you should first try a safe over-the-counter allergy medicine. If your allergies typically cause headaches or migraines, they can be worsened during pregnancy. Some of the antihistamine medicines safe to take during pregnancy are Tylenol Severe Allergy, Benadryl, Claritin, and Zyrtec.

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