Is It Safe To Use Acetaminophen During Pregnancy?

acetaminophen during pregnancy

Image : Shutterstock

Pregnancy is a normal and natural thing that happens in a woman’s life. However, certain extra precautions are necessary when you are pregnant, especially concerning the food and medication you take.

Acetaminophen is a drug prescribed to pregnant women to treat common problems such as mild headache, cold, mild fever, backache or flu. 1

Acetaminophen – History:

Is acetaminophen safe during pregnancy? Acetaminophen has been prescribed since long time for pregnant women and its use is considered to be safe.

  • Although no proper research on its effects on pregnant women have been studied. Its wide use without any reports of adverse effects indicates that it is quite safe for use even during pregnancy.
  • It is prescribed by the doctors as an over the counter medication for reducing pain and fever during pregnancy.

[ Read: Fever During Pregnancy ]

Recommended Safe Dosage Of Acetaminophen During Pregnancy:

Acetaminophen is usually prescribed during the last quarter of the pregnancy. It is readily available at the drug store without any prescription.

  • Although this drug does not cause side effects similar to another over the counter medicines such as ibuprofen and NSAIDs.
  • Its overdose can lead to critical problems such as liver failure in the mother and the baby.
  • The usual tablet of acetaminophen comes in 650 mg and doctors advise taking it after every four hours or at least four times in a day.
  • Taking this medicine above 300 mg in a day can be dangerous. 1

[ Read: Nifedipine In Pregnancy ]

Precautions For Taking Acetaminophen During Pregnancy:

In general, a pregnant woman should not take this medicine without consulting her healthcare provider, or proper prescription.

  • You should only take the recommended dosage and never exceed.
  • Always read the labels on the bottle or the packaging box carefully.
  • Do not take other medications in combination with acetaminophen without consulting your health practitioner.
  • There are no reports of drug interactions with acetaminophen but it is advisable to tell your doctor about all the medications before starting acetaminophen dosage.

[ Read: Labetalol In Pregnancy ]

Latest Facts About Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy:

According to a Danish study, the use of Tylenol, the regular brand of acetaminophen during the first quarter of pregnancy can increase the baby’s chances of getting ADHD. 2

  • This new research has certainly raised new questions regarding the unborn child and its association with the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • According to the researchers, pregnant women take this medicine during pain, fever and headaches but they should only take it when they have high fevers. 2
  • High fever can cause a direct impact on the development of the fetus, and lead to birth defects.
  • Since the risk caused due to acetaminophen is considerably less than high fever, doctors can recommend acetaminophen only if a pregnant woman is suffering from high fever.

[ Read: Metformin During Pregnancy ]

Timing Of Acetaminophen:

Regular research reveals that the timing of this medication also has a varying impact on the pregnancy and pregnant woman.

  • A pregnant woman who was prescribed acetaminophen during the first quarter or first trimester increased the risk by nine percent of her child for developing the ADHD. 2
  • This is because during the first trimester, the hormones, endocrine and the nervous system are in a developing stage and their progress is slowed down due to acetaminophen.
  • Similarly, the child of a pregnant woman who took this medicine in her last trimester faced an increased risk of 28 percent for developing ADHD.
  • The child of a woman who took this medicine in both or three of the trimesters had an increased risk of 68 percent for developing ADHD.
  • At present, no medication is 100 percent safe. Even then, extra precaution is must during
    pregnancy and hence you should take this medicine only after consulting your doctor.

[ Read: Is Zofran Safe During Pregnancy ]

Medication is not totally unavoidable during pregnancy, however it is important that you do not over dose and consult your doctor before ingesting any form of oral medication. Stay safe! Stay Happy!

If you have any experience with painkillers during pregnancy, please share it with our readers in the section below.

References : 1 , 2

Recommended Articles:


The following two tabs change content below.
Profile photo of Maanasi