19 answers

Darvocet & Pregnancy

Hi Moms,
I've had some serious headaches daily with my pregnancy and the pain medication my OB GYN was prescribing was not helping at all.
He changed my prescription to Darvocet and says it's safe to take with pregnancy but when I asked my pharmacist if it was perfectly safe to take with pregnancy he answered with a strange answer.
He said "Well, many people take it but I wouldn't give it to my wife."

How confusing can that be??
My OB says it's safe but my pharmacist says not......

What I guess my questions would be is, has anyone else had to take Darvocet with their pregnancy and did your baby come out perfectly fine?

I just hate taking any kind of pain meds while pregnant but I'm taking care of 2 young ones as well and it's so difficult when these headaches come on to just be able to lie down so I have no choice.

Thanks in advance for any helpful info! : )

What can I do next?

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My ob doc ended up giving me it while I was pregnant my first time, the only thing was that I found out I was allergic to it. Hope that this helps!!

1 mom found this helpful

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My ob doc ended up giving me it while I was pregnant my first time, the only thing was that I found out I was allergic to it. Hope that this helps!!

1 mom found this helpful

N.,
You are going to have a lot of people on here and otherwise that are going to tell you that you should not be taking narcotics while pregnant. As a rule of thumb you should try to avoid anything unncessary. Duh, right? But, when you are in pain and trying to go about your daily life you have to do something. It's just as bad for your body to be stressed out by being in constant pain. It raises your blood pressure, cortisol levels, etc... My son is nearly 14 months old and I took Lortab throughout my pregnancy for pain and he was born just fine and had NO withdrawl symptoms of any kind. Darvocet is fairly weak drug in the narcotic spectrum anyway. The pharmacist looked at you like that because he can't say "Oh sure, it's ok to take." It's a liability for him. Plus, like I said, there are those who have their opinions and that's fine. You do what's best for YOU! Hope this helps. If you would like to talk further let me know and I will send you my email address in a private message. Take care.
M.

1 mom found this helpful

If the pharmacist doesn't think it's ok (and that's what I would assume he meant by his remark) then I wouldn't take it. It could be class S (meaning they don't have much info on it), or it could be low risk, but hey-- any risk is risk you don't want, right?? I'm taking midrin right now for migranes and I'm breastfeeding. I also have a friend taking it, a higher strength than me, and pregnant. From what I understand, it's incredibly safe, and I'm having really good luck with it. Have you tried it yet?? It's also really cheap-- I think it's something like $15 for about 30 pills (?) without insurance!! :D
Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know if taking that drug is safe or not, had not had that bad of an experience with headaches, BUT my sister has had some (she is expecting in March) and when she went to see her doctor he was concerned and said that she might not be getting enough iron so he told her to take more iron plus the prenatal pills. That has helped her. It could also be your prenatal vitamins BUT only your doctor knows you. Just thought that you would want to know.

1 mom found this helpful

I have taken Darvocet through my pregnancies (I need a knee replacement but am too young) and did just fine. Darvocet is basically extra EXTRA strength Tylenol and is pretty mild as far as prescription pain relievers is concerned. I really don't see how it will help with headaches though, unless your headache is caused from an injury or something. I would tend to think that is your blood pressure is on the level that the next course of action would be to ensure you aren't dehydrated or that there isn't a sinus infection or something like that causing the headaches. Darvocet is more for physical pain... bone or muscle pain. Headaches are more commonly caused by some type of swelling, sinus or otherwise.

I hope you find relief soon! Sometimes just an ice pack and a quiet room (the impossible, I know) can cure headaches.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi N.,
When I was about 3 weeks until my due date I had to have a root canal unexpectedly..oooh the pain I was in. My dentist prescibed Darvocet and my OB/GYN ok-ed. It took care of the pain and my little girl
is perfect, I would trust my doctor especially if your comfortable when him/her. The pharmacist does not know you, your medical history or your situation. The dose is probably so low that it's like taking a strong Advil.
I hope this helps to put your mind at ease.
C.

1 mom found this helpful

I did take darvocet during my pregnancy as well. My baby is a 7 month old baby girl who is healthy and developing normally. My suggestion is to not take it every day. Only take it when you HAVE to. Otherwise, my advice is to try to alleviate the headaches other ways. I know this is hard. I had headaches through my pregnancy as well. Hear are some of my tricks: do anything you have to do to relax your muscles, roll your head around, rub the back of your neck (or get hubby to do it), when you can close your eyes- put a warm wash rag on your eyes, deep, slow breaths. I am so sorry that you are going through this, too. I know it is not easy and being pregnant (with kids to take care of)is even worse. Has your ob checked your blood pressure? Just a thought. Take care. If I can think of anything else that will work, I will let you know.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi N.,

I had migrains while I was pregnant as well. I normally take Inderal to keep them under control, but since it is a Class D drug, as soon as I got pregnant my OB told me I had to quit taking it.
The thing that worked best for me was chiropractic care on a regular basis (this helped to keep me from getting them) and my chiropractor recommended using a cold compress on the back of the neck at the base of the head. I found that this worked alot better than putting one on my forehead.
Mine actually started going away towards the middle of the second trimester. Hopefully you'll have the same luck.

L.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi N., I hate that you are having a hard time... but I took Darvocet with both of my pregnancies (per my OB Dr.) and nothing bad ever happened as a result. Also, I worked in a Pharmacy for 7 years and I never once heard a Pharmacist discourage a pregnant woman from taking the drug. Maybe you just got a paranoid pharmacist. :) Good Luck and I hope you get to feeling better. Congratulations on number 3!

1 mom found this helpful

I am also a pharmacist, with a 2 year old & one on the way. Darvocet IS a narcotic pain reliever, contrary to information someone else has given you. I feel that if you take it only when needed, and avoid using it close to term, that it is relatively safe. Taking NSAIDS like Motrin, Aleve or aspirin should be avoided, as they can prematurely close the ductus arteriosis in the heart which needs to remain open until the baby is born in order for the blood to flow properly. Just remember not to take additional Tylenol that would put you over 4000 mg per day. Each Darvocet tablet contains 650 mg. And as always, Darvocet or any other naroctic has addiction/dependence potential, so just be aware of that too. I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

I was in a car accident when I was 11 1/2 weeks pregnant. The ER doc gave me a prescription for Darvocet and told me to take it only when I had to. I ended up just taking Tylenol and having my DH giving me a lot of back massages.

But a close friend of mine has severe migraines. Her OB said it was ok to to take her migraine meds when one came on, and to use it sparingly. She also tried lots of other techniques to reduce her stress and reduce her migraines. I don't remember the name of the medicine, so I'll call her today and find out. She took it occasionally during both her pregnancies, and she has two beautiful and smart little girls. :)

1 mom found this helpful

I to am a pharmacist and a mother of 3 under five. On this one I would listen to your OBGYN. You of course should limit your medication exposure as much as possible. But the reality of taking care of kids and feeling horrible is much worse than the slight risk of taking Darvocet. The main concern with the medication is taking it close to the end of your pregnancy when the baby could be born with a dependance to the med. If you take it sparingly and stop taking it during the last month of the pregnancy everything should be fine. This is actually safer than taking over the counter motrin, advil, or aleve since these meds can thin the blood and should definitely not be taken in the last trimester.

I hope this helps ease your mind. I think that being in pain and stressed out is much worse for your baby!!

By the way in reference to an earlier post. A pharmacist can and should refuse to fill a prescription if he truely thought it would cause undo harm. Doctors do make mistakes and it is the job of the pharmacist to make sure a prescription is appropriate. I do agree that you should ALWAYS check with your OBGYN before taking any medications and make sure the pharmacy knows that you are pregnant everytime you get a prescription filled.

1 mom found this helpful

I had to take Tylenol with codeine when I was pregnant with my daughter because my wisdom teeth decided it was a good time to appear and they were impacted. I did ok with it, but used it sparingly, sometimes even only taking a half instead of a whole pill.

However, if your gut feeling is to not take it, then I wouldn't take it. I suffer from migraines and find that massaging my pressure points helps tremendously. Here's some information on that. http://www.migrainereliefblog.com/relief-for-migraine-hea...

Scroll down about halfway and read the gray boxes. Those pressure points are a God send for me when my migraines are raging. Another old fashioned trick that my grandma(also suffers from migraines) taught me was to partially fill the bathtub with water as hot as you can stand it, sit in a chair next to it(or you can use a small tub that you can put on the floor somewhere and sit close to), and put ONLY your feet in. Soak for about 15-20 mins if you can stand it that long. It helps.

1 mom found this helpful

N.,

I have fibromyalgia and migraines. During my pregnancy, I was in such pain all the time. After the first trimester, I took about 2 Darvocets a day (that's all I would let myself take). My son (now 2) is the most gorgeous, smart, amazing thing I have ever seen. There have been NO effects to him whatsoever. So if you need them, take them, within moderation.

1 mom found this helpful

I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ANTI-MEDS, ESPECIALLY DURING PREGANCY. I THINK MY ADVICE WOULD BE ALONG THE SAME AS THE PHARMACIST. THERE ARE SO MANY MEDS CONSIDERED SAFE FOR PREGANCY AND FOR CHILDREN AND LATER WE FIND OUT A PROBLEM WITH THEM. THE TRUTH IS DOCTORS CAN'T BE 100% SURE OF ANY MED AND ITS INDIVIDUAL EFFECTS ON ANYONE. WHAT MAY BE OK FOR THE GOOSE AIN'T OK FOR THE GANDER. WHATEVER ADVICE YOU RECEIVE STICK TO YOUR HEART ON THIS. THERE IS A RISK WITH ANY MED DURING PREGNANCY AS YOUR INDIVIDUAL REACTION AND YOUR BABY'S REACTION CAN BE JUST ABOUT AS DIFFERENT AS AN ORANGE AND APPLE. I HAD MAJOR BACK PAIN DURING PREGNANCY AND DECIDED TO SUFFER THROUGH IT. I STRETCHED IN EVERY KIND OF CONTORTION POSSIBLE RATHER THAN TAKE MEDS, ESPECIALLY AS I ALSO WORRIED ABOUT BEING DROWSY WITH 2 LITTLE ONES TO CARE FOR. YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER SOME CHIROPRACTIC CARE WHILE YOU ARE PREGNANT AND THERAPEUTIC MASSAGES (MAKE SURE THE PERSON IS QUALIFIED TO DO PREGNANCY MASSAGES). IN GENERAL A RELAXED BODY HELPS KEEP A RELAXED MIND....PLUS IF YOUR HEADACHES ARE SINUS TRIGGERED (LIKE MINE) YOU MAY WANT TO CHANGE AIR FILTERS IN YOUR HOUSE MORE THAN ONCE A MONTH (STICK TO THE CHEAP KIND - ALL hvac COMPANIES RECOMMEND THESE OVER THE MORE EXPENSIVE ALLERGY KIND DUE TO AIR PERFORMANCE OF THE UNIT); EVEN GET AN AIR PURIFIER; AND TAKE THE PREVIOUS RESPONDERS ADVICE OF BREATHING THROUGH A WARM DAMP CLOTH (LOVELY). TRY A HUMIDIFIER IN YOUR BEDROOM AND THE ROOM YOU USE MOST FREQUENTLY IN THE DAY (I LIKED THE WARM AIR KIND BEST FOR MY HEADACHES AND DRY THROAT/NOSE, BUT IF THAT DOESN'T WORK TRY THE COOL MIST KIND BEFORE GIVING UP ON IT)....WHATEVER RELAXING EXERCISES YOU DO MAKE SURE YOU DO THEM AT THE BEGINNING AND END OF THE DAY, EVEN IF IT IS JUST A FEW MINUTES....AND DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF WITH THE OTHER CHILDREN, IT IS STRESSFUL ENOUGH BEING PREGNANT WITHOUT TAKING ON UNNECESSARY STRESS WITH LITTLE ONES. BEST WISHES!

I agree with Kelly S on this...if you absolutely MUST take one to relieve a headache, do it ONLY ONCE. She has some great suggestions. You might also try cold compresses on your head in the area where it seems to be the worst (forehead or neck, usually). The cold will decrease the size of your blood vessels, thereby causing the pain to go away. You will just have to experiment with the warmth and cold to see which works best for you; and sometimes, one will work with one headache while another headache will respond to the other treatment (cold compress one time, warm coompress the next).

My other question for you is...which dr prescribed the Darvocet? Was it your primary, or your OB? The pharmacist's answer really wasn't all that confusing if you think about it. He was saying that pregnant women DO take the Darvocet (either with Dr's approval or against it), but that HE would not let his wife take it if she was pregnant. As a pharmacist, he can not legally tell ANY patient that he will not fill a Rx based on his personal beliefs, even if it is backed up with science. In other words, if the doctor prescribes it, he has to fill it. Personally, since you are not due until March, I would try NOT to take the Darvocet at this point, because the baby's nervous system is still developing. Once you are in your 3rd trimester, it will be safer for you to take it, but again, I would do so SPARINGLY, if at all. I also agree with Kelly on getting your BP checked. The headaches could be an early symptom of toxemia; notice I said *could*; only your dr can make the diagnosis.

Do you have any close friends or neighbors you can call when you get a headache that can come over to your house and watch the kids or help you with them? You might also want to ask an "older" mom at your church if they would be able to help you with this (ie, their kids are at school, and they have a fairly flexible schedule, or a grandma who does not work).

Sorry this got so long, but I really wanted to address all the issues you posted.

Let me know what you decide, and remember, whatever you decide is RIGHT for YOU! :) ~J.~

Listen to your pharmacist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They know about drugs BETTER than doctors. Please try some kind of alternative way like accupuncture, massage, or even a chiropractor who works with pregnant women. I have a son with special needs and what I have learned about drugs while pregnant is very disturbing! Google alternative ways to help headaches while pregnant.
Good luck, L.

Only take it when you have to, but Darvocet is a non-narcotic pain reliever, so I wouldn't worry to much. If you are in a ton of pain that could be worse for the baby as you will pass stress hormones to the fetus. Don't ask medical questions to other moms. Trust your doctor and your heart.

I hope you feel better.

B.

I had to have surgery while I was pregnant with my son, I was 12 weeks. The doctor prescribed me darvocet for my pain medicine post surgery. I took it by the bottle prescribed and I have a very happy and healthy 5 year old little boy now. He is very smart and attends private school so I would say I didn't have a problem at all. I should also mention that I also had to take it again because when I was 7 months pregnant I was having constant pains in my side that were causing me to pass out because the pain was so bad. So I took it twice during my pregnancy. I really don't see a problem with it. I would consult another pharmacist because every doctor that I talked to about it when I took it said it was fine.

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