Can You Take Aleve During Pregnancy?

 Abby McCoy Profile Photo
By Abby McCoy | Updated on Jan 4, 2024
Image for article Can You Take Aleve During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy comes with general aches and pains—especially as your baby gets bigger and more active—but stay cautious about the medications you take for relief. Aleve, also known as naproxen, may not be safe to take during pregnancy.

In the first trimester, some studies 1 have suggested Aleve might be linked with some birth defects like cleft palate. The National Institute of Health 2 recommends stopping Aleve after week 20 of pregnancy, as it can hurt the baby’s kidneys. It can also lower the amount of amniotic fluid, which surrounds the baby in the uterus as they grow. 

Lower amniotic fluid can lead to lung and joint problems for the baby and may even cause preterm delivery. If you need pain relief, your healthcare provider can help you find a safe option for you and your baby

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

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  1. Dr. Rohini K. Hernandez, PhD, Dr. Martha M. Werler, ScD, Dr. Paul Romitti, PhD, Ms Lixian Sun, MS, Dr. Marlene Anderka"Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug use among women and the risk of birth defects"AJOG, vol. 206, no. 3Apr 10, 2018, pp.  228.e1–228.e8https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5893141/.

  2. "Naproxen (Aleve®)"May 1, 2022https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK582870/.


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Updated on Jan 4, 2024

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Can You Take Aleve During Pregnancy?

 Abby McCoy Profile Photo
By Abby McCoy | Updated on Jan 4, 2024
Image for article Can You Take Aleve During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy comes with general aches and pains—especially as your baby gets bigger and more active—but stay cautious about the medications you take for relief. Aleve, also known as naproxen, may not be safe to take during pregnancy.

In the first trimester, some studies 1 have suggested Aleve might be linked with some birth defects like cleft palate. The National Institute of Health 2 recommends stopping Aleve after week 20 of pregnancy, as it can hurt the baby’s kidneys. It can also lower the amount of amniotic fluid, which surrounds the baby in the uterus as they grow. 

Lower amniotic fluid can lead to lung and joint problems for the baby and may even cause preterm delivery. If you need pain relief, your healthcare provider can help you find a safe option for you and your baby

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

Want evidence-based health & wellness advice for fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum delivered to your inbox?

Your privacy is important to us. By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.

Expectful uses only high-quality sources, including academic research institutions, medical associations, and subject matter experts.

  1. Dr. Rohini K. Hernandez, PhD, Dr. Martha M. Werler, ScD, Dr. Paul Romitti, PhD, Ms Lixian Sun, MS, Dr. Marlene Anderka"Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug use among women and the risk of birth defects"AJOG, vol. 206, no. 3Apr 10, 2018, pp.  228.e1–228.e8https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5893141/.

  2. "Naproxen (Aleve®)"May 1, 2022https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK582870/.


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