29 answers

Can I Take Excedrin Tension While I'm Pregnant?

This is my 2nd pregnancy, And I've sufferd Migrains that will last a week long at a time. I'm 8 weeks and I heard that U can take Excedrin Tension Because it dosent have and asprin in it. I believe its like tylenol only with alot of Caffiene 65 miligrams. The last week Ive felt like Ive had to take 1 or 2 a day to function as a mom of a 20 month old. HELP!!!
tell me if im doing wrong by taking it?? cuz tylenol just dosnt do the trick for me.

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C., I'd avoid the Excedrin!

Go for Tylenol. Drink A LOT of water. Eat more often in smaller portions. Sleep more. Utilize chiropractic and massage therapies. These things will help you avoid headaches.

And congratulations.

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I get migraines, too, and they started when I was pregnant with my first child. I am a "lightweight" with medicine. The tiniest bit of anything (especially Excedrin) makes my stomach really upset. I have learned a trick that works for me. When I first sense a migraine coming on, I eat a chocolate bar with some Coke. It tends to ward off the headache or at least lessen it so that I don't need medicine. I don't know why it works--maybe the combination of caffiene and sugar.

Another thing that helps a lot is if I lie down in a dark room with a cold rag over my forehead, eyes, and sinus area. That at least makes the pain managable so I can sleep it off.

One other thing that has worked for me is visiting a chiropractor WHILE I was having the headache. He did some pressure points on my skull, neck, and eye sockets that hurt like heck but completely took the migraine away. Now that I know where those points are, I can do them on myself, and they work pretty well for me.

Hope this helps.


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Excedrin has ibuprofen and asprin products in them, so no you probably cannot take it. Talk to your Dr.
I had migraines before I got pregnant so the Dr allowed me one COKE each morning or one cup of coffee as the caffiene helped relieve my headaches, however other then Tylenol that was it. Asprin and ibuprofen can cause bleeding and they thin your blood, which is the reason you cannot take them, minimal caffiene isn't as bad. I would always talk to your Dr and not go from this site first as he or she will answer you the right way.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,

I've had migraines all my life, and they were horrible during all 3 of my pregnancies. During my second pregnancy, I spoke with my doctor about it, and he gave me a prescription for Fioricet. It's basically a strong dose of tylenol with caffeine. It was a LIFESAVER and got me through my second pregnancy and my third! I would definitely talk with your doctor about medicine for your migraines. There is no reason why you should have to suffer through that pain.

I'm not sure about Excedrin Tension, but you may want to ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Good luck to you, and feel better soon!

1 mom found this helpful

The only way you can take excedrin is if it has Acetmetaphin (The basic ingrediant in Tylenol.) in it. If it does not have acetmetaphin in it, then chance are you should not take it. The doctors tell you NO caffine during pregnacy any way. I know it sucks, because your head is just throbbing with pain, I would call your doc and ask. Just to be on the safe side. You just don't want to risk anything. I'm 8 months pregnant with my second and My doc at Womens First in Loveland told me with headaches and migraines take Extra Strength Tylenol, and if the migraine doesn't go away, try turning off all the lights in a bedroom and lay down with a warm rag over your eyes. Thats as far as it goes. I suffered all throughout my first pregnancy with migraines and after the 3rd migraine that excedrin bottle looked pretty tempting. Call your doctor before you do anything.
Hope this helps good luck with your migraines I hope they go away for you!

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My doctor perscribed me Percocet when I was pregnant... but not until the second trimester. I would try to avoid any kind of meds until the then. I asked my doc why, and she said it was because the first trimester is when most of the chemical creating in happening with your baby, so that's when foreign substances (like medicines) will affect it's development the most. But ask your doctor- they will know best what will work in your particular situation.

P.S. As a side note- I kept my 2-Pepsi-a-day habit right on throughout my pregnancy, and my daughter not only turned out fine, but she has slept through the night (from 8pm to 7am with no waking periods) since she was 5 weeks old.... so do what feels right for you! ;-)

1 mom found this helpful

I get migraines and especially while pregnant. During this last pregnancy they told me I probably shouldn't take my migraine medicine while pregnant and to maybe drink a pepsi when one comes on and it really worked on taking the headache away. I don't drink caffeine at all so maybe that is why it worked when I drank one for the headache. If someone already drinks a lot of caffeine I don't know if it will work as good. Good luck!! You could call the Pregnancy Risk Line and they can pretty much tell you anything. You can call any OB's office and get that number.

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Check with your doctor, but I wouldn't be taking anything that powerful until you get the ok. Chiropractic care is great. If you need a good doctor, let me know. Good luck!

I think you'd better call your doc to find out for sure. I know when I was pg I wasn't allowed much caffeine per day (one cup coffee - half decaf) because it has been linked to a higher risk of miscarriage. Studies may differ now, but I'd still check.

Talk to your OB about Vicodin. I took it during my pregnancy to get relief from occasional 3 day long migraines. It took the edge off the pain so that I could at least function. It is considered safe to take during pregnancy and lactation. I still nurse my 10 month old and I get about 1 migraine a month, I still take vicodin 1-3 times a day to manage the pain. It is hard to care for a baby while your in that kind of pain. Give yourself a break. Get the Vicodin if you can.

People are sooo wrong! Excedrin does NOT contain aspirin. Excedrin is the same EXACT thing as Tylenol. It has the same ingredient, acetaminophen 500 mg in both. Except Excedrin Tension headache contains 65mg of caffeine which is way less caffeine then what you would get out of a cup of coffee. Do your own research and comparisons and then tell your doctor.

I too suffer from migraines. During all of my pgs I took tylenol (useless) and caffine. I also went to my chiropractor. My Chiro will treat you during the migraine, and preventively. I have also used an accupuncturist to get migraine relief. Both of those are safe during pg. Excedrin tension has acetomeniphen (same ingredient as Tylenol), so it is considered safe. You might also talk you your ob, there are some percription drugs that they can give you during pg, but they are ususally things that can make you sleepy, you'll definately need help with your 20 month old.

Well, they say that caffiene isn't too gteat for babies, but onbe can of coke is okay once a day so if that 65mg is the same as a coke then you are good. they do make babysafe migraine meds. I think Imitrex is okay, you can take it as an inhaler...less in the blood to the baby. Also, ask your doctor about Demerol, I know sounds scay,but my sister ended up in the hospital with moigraines and that what they gave her.
I am sorry you have to suffer with pain on top of being preggers. Hope you feel better.

Hi Chaylse,

Talk to a your local pharmacist, just call them. Secondly if you just gave up caffiene you could be going through caffiene withdrawl. Also call your obgyn and leave a message for her to pick up. Make sure you are relieving stress through stress reduction techniques such are progressive relaxation etc. You may be getting tension headaches.

BIG one drink more water!!!!! It is hot and you are pregnant, dehydration can cause severe headaches. Drink diluted gatorade if you don't like water.

Good luck! Take care of yourself! I know it is hard with a 20 month old!


I have tension headaches all of the time and especially when I was pregnant with my son. I am getting them bad again (I may also be pregnant again also..won't know until next week.)

I had one really bad last night and took Excedrin tension while I read the back to make sure there wasn't ibuprofen or aspirin in it. This particular medicine does NOT have either of the two in it as previously stated by another commenter....it has acetaminophen in it. It is the same as Tylenol but with a lot of caffeine as you said. My doctor told me to take Tylenol with a coke or cup of coffee. He also told me I was allowed two caffeinated beverages a day as well..which made me very happy.

When I was pregnant with my first I had a headache every morning. Every morning or every other morning I had to take two Tylenol with a cup of coffee or two cups and that kicked the headache. Hope that helps. It works just as well as Excedrin Tension Headache.

Talk to your doctor because excedrin does have aspirin in it as well they can usually prescribe something

C., I'd avoid the Excedrin!

Go for Tylenol. Drink A LOT of water. Eat more often in smaller portions. Sleep more. Utilize chiropractic and massage therapies. These things will help you avoid headaches.

And congratulations.

I have suffered through migraines my entire life, and they were of course awful during my pregnancy. Something that helped me was taking two extra strength tylenol and drinking some coke. I completely cut out caffiene (even chocolate) during my pregnancy, so drinking half of a coke every now and then really helped. Also, make sure you are drinking enough water. It seems silly, but I had to constantly remind myself during my pregnancy, and it can help to "flush" out the migraine.

I don't believe you can take any excedrine at all while pregnant. I also suffer from migranes I believe you can take certaing prescription meds though, talk to your dr and see what he recomends. I know lortabs helped me a little still not as good as excedrine but it helps. Also I have found that Goodys headache powder (I've found at walmart and walgreens) is about the same as excedrine only it kicks in faster. It doesn't taste very good but it works. Maybe that will help after the pregnancy of course because it does contain asprin.

Also I have found that a product called basic instinct from slumber parties also helps take a bit of the edge off. Not alot but it helps by just applying a little to your temples.

Excedrin Tension is SAFE because it has NO ASPIRIN. Other Excedrin products have aspirin, but the Tension Headache one does not. It is perfectly SAFE during pregnancy. It is just Tylenol with Caffeine. You just have to be careful not to take too much, since too much caffeine can be bad. A couple cups of coffee a day is supposed to be okay, so Excedrin Tension in moderation is okay. My OB gave me the go ahead for this.

With all due respect to all of the very knowledgeable moms on this forum, I firmly believe you should ask your doctor about what is safe and what is not safe to ingest, while pregnant.

Excedrin Tension Headache:
Generic Name: acetaminophen and caffeine (a see tah MIH no fen and CAH feen)
Brand Names: Excedrin Quick Tab Peppermint, Excedrin Quick Tab Spearmint, Excedrin Tension Headache
Acetaminophen and caffeine is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to be harmful to unborn baby. Do not, however, take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Acetaminophen and caffeine passes into breast milk. It appears to be safe for use during breast-feeding, but should be avoided if possible. Talk to your doctor before taking acetaminophen and caffeine if you are breast-feeding a baby.

ETA: My mistake. Apparently this particular medication is, indeed, simply the "tylenol with a lot of caffeine." I apologize. I didn't realize Excedrin made anything other than ibuprofen products.

Excedrin is ibuprofin. No, you cannot take it while pregnant. Tylenol yes, so take the recommended dosage of that with a coke. Remember to limit your caffeine intake by a LOT, though.
You may have to just deal with the headaches for the pregnancy and nursing period (I get migraines, so I'm not trying to be rude). Difficult as it may be.

I had HORRIBLE tension headaches while I was pregnant. I've heard that the Excedrin is NOT safe during pregnancy. My doctor actually gave me a bottle of Tylenol 3's (with a little codeine in it) instead. You really should ask. But the Tylenols he gave me seemed to do the trick. The regular and extra strength Tylenol didn't do a thing to it, but it seemed like the Tylenol 3 would bring it down enough for it to go away on it's own. They were keeping me up at night kind of bad, and the Tylenol 3 made it so I could sleep, and it would be virtually gone in the morning. Good luck. Tension headaches (or any kind of headaches) are awful when you're pregnant...

i don't have migrains, but i do have another condition that has been pretty painful at times during this pregnancy. when i told my doctor, he said, "i wish i could take your pain away". but he would not prescribe anything but the extra strength tylenol and lots of rest. the tylenol just takes the edge off the pain and i have to lay on the couch while the kids watch tv if i can't find someone to watch them for me. even the nurse at your obgyn's office should be able to look in the big book of drugs and tell you the risk category of excedrin so that you have a better idea of how dangerous it might be and why. some drugs are most dangerous during a certain trimester but safer during another. i'd give them a call.

I would NOT take anything like that while pregnant. I suggest calling your doctor, tylenol is like candy for migraines, just isn't strong enough, however the other over the counter meds are not good while preggers. I'd call your OBGYN and see what he/she can prescribe for you.
Good luck!

You cannot take exedrin when you are pregnant because it does have aspirin and caffeine in it. I was really worried when I was pregant because anything but execedrine is a waste of time.. but interestingly enough when I was pregnant tylenol worked just find. Try it, you might be suprised. If that doesn't work.. ask your doc.

I have that same problem. I am 20 weeks prego and I just asked my doctor about what i am able to do about my headaches because nothing would help. she told me to take Excedrin Tension headache without asprin, she said it is just like tylenol, except the caffeine that is in it is used in this product to increase the pain relieving effects of the acetaminophen. I can def. helped me with my headache after 1 pill

I got a migraine during my first presidency and my doctor was able to prescribe me something for it. talk to your doctor, they will know best.

My first son who is 4 years old I took Ibuprofen for my headaches. But this pregnancy, it doesn't work as well. The doctor said I could take the Excedrin as long as it wasn't in excess. On both the Excedrin and Ibuprofen you have to stop taking I think two months (it might be only one mont) before you deliver so your blood will clot properly. But my doctor said it wouldn't hurt anything. I would think you were fine but you might check with your doctor, each doctor has there own ideas of what you can take or not take. Good luck.

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