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Acetaminophen and Pregnancy: Bad Mix?

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le.

Acetaminophen is a painkiller and a fever reducer which can be found in many pain medicines. People use acetaminophen to treat many health conditions such as a headache, arthritis, backache, muscle aches, toothaches, and fevers. However, the using of acetaminophen links to behavior problems in children when pregnant women use it. In this article, we would find out it is good or not take acetaminophen during pregnancy.

Acetaminophen: what do you know?

As we known, acetaminophen is a painkiller that we can find easily in many drugs. Besides treating severe pain, it is used for other purposes by your doctor. You can buy this drug as an over-the-counter form or as your doctor prescribes.

According to US Food and Drug Administration, acetaminophen belongs to C group. It means its risk can’t be ruled out. This is because it can cause many risks to your fatal if you get pregnant or it may pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. You just only use acetaminophen when your doctor determines it is safe for you or not.

How does acetaminophen affect your baby?

According to recent studies, acetaminophen associated to behavioral problems in children, especially when mothers take this drug during their third trimester. The progress of active brain development and growth occur in this period. These studies have also focused on how acetaminophen work in pregnancy and the later risks to children. They include:

  • Kids whose mom used this drug during pregnancy were at 1.3 times of having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms at age of 7 or taking ADHD medications.
  • Kids whose mothers had taken acetaminophen in their pregnant period had 1.4 times of having hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms than those kids whose mom did not. Also, scientists found that boys had symptoms of autism in case their mothers used acetaminophen during pregnancy.
  • The using of acetaminophen showed the association with asthma in children from 3 to 7 years old. However, untreated pain also linked to an increase in asthma.

What is the solution for pregnant women?

Many doctors suggest that pregnant women need to talk to their doctor before using any kind of prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Furthermore, there are many pain relief methods that pregnant women can try. They are massage, using hot or cold packs, and sitting in a chair with a good back support to reduce back pain. In case, they need to use medication, taking the lowest effective dose in the shortest time is a good way.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources
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