Pregnant and headache

It is not uncommon for women to get headaches during their pregnancy. As a matter of fact most women do. The intensity of the headache can vary from person to person and the headaches can continue in extreme cases during the whole pregnancy. Usually when it comes to pregnancy headaches we divide them into three trimesters (three months) just as we do with the pregnancy. In most cases the headaches stop or is at least less frequent after the first trimester.

If the headaches is just as frequent after the first and second trimester it will probably continue throughout the whole pregnancy and you might consider starting some preventive treatment. Remember that headache can make you really exhausted and being pregnant on top of that can be devastating. The kind of treatment should not be strong medicines since it can start another type of headache called analgesic rebound headaches. Analgesic rebound headaches comes from overusing medicines and should be seen as a strong warning for stop using medicines! Instead of going for the most effective medicines right away, try to start with a non-drug based medicine. It might just work good enough and you won’t get all the nasty side effects which stronger medicines can give you.

Some of the non-drug based medicines used in preventive treatment contains:

  • Gabapentin
  • Magnesium
  • Propranolol

Remember that taking medicines in general during pregnancy is something you should try to avoid as much as you can. And if you start taking preventive medicines for headache during pregnancy you should have your doctor to check up on your on a regular basis. All the medicines are categorized A, B, C, D and X depending on the risk of birth defects. Categories A is quite uncommon since the effect is so mild (effect on the headache), category B is for the first and second trimester. Some medicines even change category (to a D for example) since the risks of birth defect increase with some preventive medicines over time. Category D and X is a total “no go” during pregnancy!