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Is it safe to take a common pain reliever while pregnant?
27 Jan' 21

Is it safe to take a common pain reliever while pregnant?

 

 

For many years, acetaminophen-containing medicines, such as the pain killer Tylenol, were widely regarded as safe to use during pregnancy. Acetaminophen is used in hundreds of over-the-counter medicines, including popular cold, cough, and flu medications. Surprisingly, 65 percent of pregnant women in the United States said they took it to relieve a headache or an aching back. However, in the journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology, a group of doctors and scientists published a consensus statement suggesting enhanced caution when using acetaminophen during pregnancy. They cited a growing body of data that it can disrupt embryonic development, possibly leaving long-term impacts on the brain.

  

An endocrine disruptor:  

  

Acetaminophen has long been suspected of being an endocrine disruptor. As a result, it may interfere with chemicals and hormones involved in normal growth, perhaps throwing it off course. Some data suggest that acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy particularly high dosages or frequent use may raise the risk of early puberty in females or male fertility problems such as poor sperm count, according to the consensus statement. It's also linked to other disorders like undescended testicles or hypospadias, a birth abnormality in which the opening in the tip of the penis isn't in the right spot. It could be linked to attention deficit disorder and negatively affect mood. 

  

The chances of negative consequences are low:   

  

This may seem frightening if you took acetaminophen during your current or previous pregnancy, especially since you've probably always assumed this medicine was safe. While experts agree that potential dangers should be considered while taking any over-the-counter or prescription medications during pregnancy, you shouldn't be alarmed.  

  

"An individual's danger is minimal." If you took acetaminophen while pregnant, there's a strong chance your kid didn't or won't suffer any negative effects. 

This topic's study isn't conclusive. Some of the data utilized to create the consensus statement came from animal research or human studies with major limitations. More research is needed to demonstrate if this medicine is creating health concerns, as well as to determine at what doses and during what stages of pregnancy acetaminophen exposure is most dangerous.  

 

Also read Foods to eat and avoid for expecting mothers 

  

If you're expecting a child, take these precautions.  

  

Three common-sense precautions will help safeguard you and your baby until further information is available on the subject: 

  

If at all possible, avoid acetaminophen while pregnant: It has been previously advised patients to avoid NSAIDs like Advil and Aleve during preconception and prenatal counseling, instead opting for acetaminophen. "Now I also inform individuals that there have been some concerns about acetaminophen usage during pregnancy," and that "its use should be limited to instances where it is truly essential." To summarize, always think about if you actually need something before swallowing a drug.  

  

Consult your physician: Always consult your doctor before using acetaminophen, especially if you plan to use it for an extended period of time. They may all agree that 

  

Use as little as possible: If you must take acetaminophen while pregnant, do it for the shortest feasible duration and at the lowest effective dose to minimize fetal exposure. "This advice about taking the smallest amount for the shortest duration is generally sound advising for all over-the-counter medicine use, especially during pregnancy." 

  

While all of this is sound advice when it comes to taking acetaminophen, there are occasions when it's better to avoid it altogether. For example, if you have a high fever during pregnancy, acetaminophen may be required to bring your fever down and avoid harming your baby. The advantages of using acetaminophen in this situation, if advised by your doctor, are numerous. 

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