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Although the available evidence supports the combination of oxycodone and pregnancy as likely safe, more tests are necessary. Oxycodone carries a Category B pregnancy rating, which means it should only be taken if clearly needed and under the supervision of medical professionals. 

Oxycodone and Breastfeeding

Low concentrations of this drug are detectable in breast milk. Infants exposed to oxycodone through that milk may experience withdrawal symptoms when the breastfeeding parent stops taking the medicine. Parents who are nursing should therefore not take oxycodone because it may cause sedation/drowsiness, constipation, decreased feedings, and respiratory distress/irregular breathing.


Which painkiller is safe during pregnancy?

It is up to the obstetrician to determine what painkiller is best because each person’s pregnancy is different. In general, most parents who are expecting can take acetaminophen with their medical provider’s approval. It’s important only to take it if necessary and to take as little as possible. 

Do opioids cause birth defects?

Taking opioids during pregnancy can be problematic. It may lead to maternal death, preterm labor, stillbirth, and some birth defects along with neonatal abstinence syndrome, where the baby goes through withdrawal at birth. 

Are opioids contraindicated in pregnancy?

Not necessarily; parents who are expecting should not endure chronic pain. A physician will determine if the risk of taking opioids is warranted. The goal will be to try other methods of pain management first and only use opioid pain medication like oxycodone if absolutely necessary. 

Can painkillers affect your pregnancy?

There is always a risk when taking medication during pregnancy. Studies do indicate that some pain medications such as NSAIDs and opioids may increase the risk of certain birth defects and conditions like neonatal abstinence syndrome.

Expecting parents should follow their medical provider’s instructions when it comes to managing pain and take medication if recommended. 

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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