The Side Effects of Ibuprofen During Pregnancy


Ibuprofen is a common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory that may be safe to take during certain times in your pregnancy and for limited time periods. Most physicians recommend that pregnant women avoid all medications, particularly in the third trimester. However, if you are in need of pain relief for a sprained joint, back pain or something similar, ibuprofen may be a good option in early to mid-pregnancy. Check with your own physician before taking any medication.


Ibuprofen is found in many over-the-counter pain relief medications and is sold under the brand names of Motrin and Advil. It is also a component in many combination cold medications.

Possibility of Miscarriage

There is no clear link to ibuprofen and miscarriage. While two studies have shown that the regular use of ibuprofen in the first trimester may inhibit the implantation of the fetus, other studies have shown that ibuprofen has no effect on early pregnancy.


Many pregnant women are concerned that the use of ibuprofen may result in low birth weight, birth defects or cause preterm labor; however, no studies have shown a direct link between any of these conditions and the use of ibuprofen in the first or second trimester.

Third Trimester

It is recommended that pregnant women do not use ibuprofen or any other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory during the third trimester, as this is a critical time of pregnancy. Using ibuprofen late in pregnancy may inhibit labor, cause a reduction in the amount of amniotic fluid or lead to high blood pressure in the fetus's lungs. In some cases, the use of ibuprofen may be called for, but only under strict supervision from your physician.

General Side Effects

Ibuprofen has some potential side effects for any user, and these side effects may be exacerbated during pregnancy. If any of the following side effects occur, consult your doctor for treatment and a recommendation for an alternative treatment: constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, headaches, heartburn, rash, stomach pain or upset stomach.

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