November 28, 2021

Can we take paracetamol when pregnant? How safe it is to take winter flu meds, explained

It’s flu season, and this year is shaping up to be worse than the last.

Many will unfortunately catch the virus this winter, and will be looking for treatments to relieve their pain and feel better.

Here’s all you need to know.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Flu symptoms appear very quickly and can include:

  • a sudden high temperature of 38°C or higher
  • a sore body
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • a dry cough
  • a sore throat
  • a headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhea or stomach pain
  • to feel sick and to be sick

What is the treatment for influenza?

There isn’t really a straightforward cure for the flu, but there are methods that can speed up recovery or make you feel better.

The NHS recommends:

  • rest and sleep
  • Keep warm
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains
  • drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (your pee should be light or light yellow)

Can I take paracetamol during pregnancy?

Yes, paracetamol is generally fine.

The NHS says: “Paracetamol is the first choice of pain reliever if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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“It has been taken by many pregnant and breastfeeding women without harmful effects on the mother or baby.

“For more information on how paracetamol may affect you and your baby during pregnancy, read this leaflet on the Best Use of Medicines During Pregnancy (BUMPS) website. “

Can I take ibuprofen while pregnant?

It is not advisable.

The NHS says: “Ibuprofen is not normally recommended during pregnancy – especially if you are 30 weeks or older – unless it is prescribed by a doctor. This is because there could be a link between taking ibuprofen during pregnancy and some birth defects, especially damage to the baby’s heart and blood vessels.

“There may also be a link between taking ibuprofen in early pregnancy and miscarriage.

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“Talk to your doctor about the possible advantages and disadvantages of taking ibuprofen. It will depend on how many weeks you are pregnant and why you need to take the medicine. There may be other treatments that are safer for you.

Why is it important this year?

The government has warned of a spike in influenza infections.

A report from the Academy of Medical Sciences has suggested the UK could see up to 60,000 flu deaths this winter.

Dr Nikki Kanani, Medical Director of Primary Care at NHS England, said: ‘This year it is more vital than ever that all eligible children and adults accept the offer of the free vaccine, as we move towards one of the most difficult winters to date. for the NHS ”.

Helen Whately told BBC Radio 4 Today Program: “One thing I do as Minister of Care is look to winter, where we can anticipate a new upsurge in Covid because that’s what’s happening with this type of virus.

“We’re also likely to see the flu again this winter and especially this winter because we didn’t have a lot of the flu last winter.”

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Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said catching the two viruses could be fatal, as people are twice as likely to die if they contract both at the same time.

Dr Harries told Sky’s Trevor Phillips Sunday: “I think the important thing about this winter is that we’re probably going to see the flu, for the first time in real numbers, co-circulate with Covid.

“So the risks of catching the two together remain.

“And if you do that, then the first evidence suggests that you are twice as likely to die from having two together, than from just having Covid alone.

“So I think winter is uncertain to come – it’s not a prediction, it’s an uncertain feature – but we do know that influenza cases were lower the year before, so immunity and the types of strains are a bit more uncertain. “

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