Taking paracetamol during pregnancy is safe and usually does not cause any problems. However, there are some associated risks and side effects that every pregnant woman should be aware of.
Today, we will be discussing the possible side effects of taking paracetamol during pregnancy. Paracetamol is one of the safest drugs during pregnancy, but it can pose risks. Therefore, you should take the adjusted dose and always follow your doctor’s prescription.
What is Paracetamol?
Paracetamol is an antipyretic analgesic that reduces pain and lowers fever. It has no anti-inflammatory properties and is commonly used to relieve headaches, back pain, and colds.
It is thought that about 60% of pregnant women use this drug. However, paracetamol is a drug that can cross the placenta. Therefore, this drug may reach the fetus and cause unwanted risks and adverse effects on pregnancy.
Effects of Taking Paracetamol During Pregnancy
Paracetamol as prescribed by a doctor is a safe drug if not used for a long time. Typically, this medicine is prescribed to relieve discomfort such as headaches, back pain, and colds during pregnancy.
It is important to avoid self-medication because of the side effects this pain reliever can have on the fetus. Even more so when this is a drug commonly found at home. Some of the possible side effects are:
Asthma and Allergies
Paracetamol may cause asthma in babies if taken during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. According to some studies, the risk of developing asthma is 25% higher for babies whose mothers took this drug.
The use of this drug has also been linked to the likelihood that your baby will have allergies and other respiratory problems.
Long-term administration of paracetamol during the third trimester may cause cognitive and motor problems in the fetus.
One study found that mothers who used paracetamol for 28 consecutive days or more had children with poor cognitive development. They also showed behavioral problems and worse motor development.
Taking paracetamol for more than 28 days during pregnancy may cause reproductive problems in the baby boy.
Because it lowers testosterone levels, it can carry the risk of infertility and latent testes (undifferentiated testes). This means that the testes do not descend into the scrotum and remain in the inguinal canal or abdomen.
Another risk associated with paracetamol during pregnancy is associated with ADHD . A study led by the University of California found a link between the drug and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Children whose mothers took paracetamol during pregnancy are 13% to 37% more likely to develop ADHD.
High Blood Pressure and Risk of Premature Birth in Women
Women who take this medicine and suffer from high blood pressure (high blood pressure) are at risk of premature birth.
It should be clarified that paracetamol generally does not pose a risk of miscarriage or premature birth. As mentioned earlier, this only applies to women with a history of high blood pressure.
Paracetamol Recommended Dosage
The institution of treatment and the dosage of the drug are important to avoid risk. As mentioned earlier, despite the associated risks, paracetamol during pregnancy is safe when prescribed by a physician and used in a controlled manner.
Do not consume more than 4g per day and wait 6-8 hours between doses. And you should only take this medicine when you really need it.
How to Deal with Discomfort During Pregnancy
Taking paracetamol during pregnancy may have side effects. So, what are the alternatives?
If paracetamol is prescribed by a doctor and taken for a short period of time, there is no significant risk to the fetus. However, it is important to follow the instructions of your doctor and avoid taking paracetamol for long periods of time during pregnancy. If possible, it is best to avoid medications during pregnancy.
Instead, you should learn about alternative, natural ways to relieve discomfort. There are many options, including natural remedies, homemade pain relievers, massage, and light exercise. If the discomfort can be treated less aggressively, the baby’s health can be improved.