Have You Ever Had to Take Prescribed Pain Meds During a Pregnancy?

Updated on August 02, 2010
N.O. asks from Rowlett, TX
10 answers

Hi Moms,

I'm currently pregnant with my 4th child and have been in a lot of pain with this pregnancy, much more than any other pregnancy in the past. The pain is in my lower back and daily migraines. I have suffered from back pain for years now but it's definitely gotten worst with this pregnancy.

My OB wouldn't prescribe anything for pain during the first trimester. In my second trimester he prescribed fioricet for the migraines and about a month later I started darvocet to help with the back pain and migraines. I am not taking both of these medications together, only on darvocet now but I do have to take it daily and am at 2 a day even though my OB recommends me taking only 1 a day. i told him the Darvocet barely relieves my pain and maybe there's something a little stronger I could take that will work better and I won't have to take as much of but he says no, he'll only do darvocet. When I asked him what the risks are, he says none but the baby might be born a litte sedated and of course I wasn't thrilled hearing that. He also hasn't discussed with me whether I can take it during the rest of my pregnancy or if he's going to stop prescribing it the last month.

I am concerned takiing this medication because it is every day but I woudn't be taking it if I wasn't in a significant amount of pain which I am. I fractured my sacrum years ago and was being treated by a neurologist but stopped seeing hm after becoming pregnant with my 2nd child.

So anyhow, just curious to know if anyone has had to take pain meds during your pregnancy and did your baby have any complications from it? I completely trust my OB and feel he wouldn't prescribe anything he didn't feel was safe but I guess the mommy in me still feels guilty and since I never had to take anyting with previous pregnancies, I can't relate to what might happen to my baby from taking pain meds. I'm currently 29 weeks and baby is looking great. I had a sono last week and her weight alone is in the 99th percentile so she's growing and developing wonderfully. Thanks to all for your help and advice

P.S. I see a chiropractor every 2 weeks and it helps tremendously but I still have every day pain, I use a belly support band, ice, heating pads, massages, everything I do only works temporarily so I am thankful the pain meds are helping me function a little better, but still so unsure about taking them.

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answers from Austin on

I took a prescription painkiller in the last trimester of my second child. I had daily migraines and a crown put in. It sucked big time. The medication that they give pregnant women has been studied exhaustively before they even try to use it. I wouldn't worry about it.

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answers from Seattle on

For the migraines... have you tried stopping your prenatal vitamins for a week? It's amazing how many women get migraines triggered by the massive dose of them. If you migraines quit, when you quit taking them, many women find that smaller doses throughout the day do the same job without the headaches. Like children's chewables.

I was one such.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I strained a rib muscle while pregnant with our second child. The pain was excruciating ... enough to go to the ER. I ended up taking pain medication. I can't recall what it was, but it was one of the few options. I literally couldn't move otherwise. I hated taking them but had to live my life. Our daughter was completely normal, so I'm glad I went ahead and eased the pain.

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answers from Indianapolis on

At 9 weeks in my 2nd pregnancy, I started having incredible pains on my lower left side. I went to the hospital twice in one week and was given morphine, Darvocet, Dilaudid and eventually an Rx for Vicodin for what we still believe were kidney stones.

I couldn't get an image until my 2nd trimester (both my OB and my Urologist wanted a partial contrast), but the radiologist refused to give it to me despite the orders from my OB.

There are several that are approved for use throughout pregnancy.
The third trimester is the one during which the baby does the most growing, but most of the vital organs/systems are developed.

If you're concerned talk it over with both your OB and a pharmacist to make sure you understand the risks. Of most concern is whether or not the molecule crosses the placental barrier. If it does not, it's usually regarded as safe.

Good luck!

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answers from Redding on

I got shingles so bad when I was pregnant with my son that it almost killed both of us. I was on massive amounts of morphine, marcaine, and fentanyl (which is like a thousand times stronger than morphine). I was in so much pain that I was out of my mind. They couldn't give me enough to shut me up from screaming in agony. I was so worried about my baby and what the drugs might do to him, but he is completely normal in every way and very intelligent.
So, even though I don't advise taking a bunch of drugs during pregnancy, sometimes it can't be helped and I trusted my doctors. I had no choice, really. Their goal was the same as mine.....to have a healthy baby and keep me alive to see him.
The doctors know what is and isn't safe.
If my son can be perfectly normal with everything we went through, I think you'll be okay.

Best wishes!

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answers from Washington DC on

I spent my entire second trimester of my second pregnancy on 8-10 Percocet per day.

I was suffering from a muscle spasm in my back and hip (which I frequently get due to a back injury and subsequent surgeries resulting from my military service). My muscle spasms are no joke, they are basically a localized muscular seizure (or basically a big charlie horse) that doesn't ever relax and lasts for weeks. It's excruciating. I was crawling around my house very slowly because I could barely move and I'm one of those people that can pull my own stitches right out without cutting them and not bat an eyelash, so this pain is big time if it took me down that hard. The percocet really helped. It never went away completely, but the percocet did make it a LOT better. I still wasn't able to walk normally, but I was able to get around with crutches which I wasn't even able to do before percocet because I couldn't stand to be upright.

My OB at the time told me that the benefits outweighed the risks which were minor to begin with. She said the meds would make the baby drowsy too, but that didn't really matter since the baby was on automatic life support anyways. She said I wouldn't be able to take it when I was nursing because it would make him too drowsy to eat, but it was okay during pregnancy.

Oh and this was only back in 2007 so it wasn't that long ago. Anyways, I hope my story helped you in some way. Your OB has other options and he's just letting his own philosophy get in the way of telling you the truth. Maybe see if you can't find a new OB, or at least ask this one about something like Percocet.

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answers from Seattle on

I am surprised that you were prescribed Darvocet. The drug it's on it's way off the market and has already been withdrawn in several countries and the EU. It's not considered to be any more effective than tylenol with considerable higher risks of side effects.
Personally I would probably try to relieve the pain with treatments that do not require medication (massage therapy, chiropractics, acupuncture), but if the pain keeps you from functioning in daily life, pain medications are definitely something to consider. No drugs can be considered absolutely safe to take during pregnancy, but you need to make an educated risk-benefit analysis. If your pain keeps you from getting up and moving, causes you to be depressed and unable to take care of yourself or your children...I would say the benefits outweigh the risks.
Don't be hesitant to get a second opinion, you might want to consider consulting a specialist for palliative care/pain management.
Good luck.

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answers from Atlanta on

Hi N..

I personally am scared of prescription meds during pregnancy. No one, not even an OB can tell you specifically how you or the baby will react. It's all a game of statistics. The reason I say this is because everything synthetic contraindicates with other synthetic chemicals. There is no way to know what is already in your body that it will react to....we eat, breathe and absorb chemicals everyday.

That being said, I would see if the chiropractor would be willing to see you more often. I go to an upper cervical specialist that sees me anytime I need to come in. If it's money, see if you can negotiate a "pregnancy" plan for a reduced rate. The right chiropractic treatment will help tremendously. Also, if you are able to do a little "light" weight lifting (2 or 3 pound weights) to strengthen your back so that the muscles will hold your adjustments a little longer should help to if you're able. Walking will help as well.

God bless and Congratulations!


PS Is it muscular pain or joint pain. I eat a energy bar that inhibits lactic acid. Lactic acid is what makes muscles hurt...If it's muscular let me know.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I had to take meds during my third pregnancy due to a back injury from an accident, my sweet little 3 month old girl is doing just fine.

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answers from Jackson on

Chronic pain is a valid diagnosis, that deserves a valid treatment. Contact a teaching Hospital or University Hospital, ask the receptionist if there are triage nurses you can speak to by phone. Maybe you need a different Physician?
Best wishes to you & the baby.