December 2, 2022

Can we take paracetamol when pregnant?


PARACETAMOL is a pain reliever commonly used to treat aches and pain.

But should you use it when you are pregnant? Let’s find out.


It is safe for women to take paracetamol during pregnancyCredit: Alamy

Can I take paracetamol during pregnancy?

With pregnancy comes pain and increased anxiety about what we are putting into the body.

But when it comes to being pregnant or breastfeeding, paracetamol is the first pain reliever of choice.

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

In September 2021, a new article published in Nature Endocrinology Reviews urged caution when taking paracetamol during pregnancy.

But the new consensus statement calls for caution, not worry.

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

What are the side effects of paracetamol?

Paracetamol very rarely causes side effects if you take it in the right dose.

But if you are worried about a side effect or notice something unusual, it is best to talk to your pharmacist or doctor.

How much paracetamol can I take per day?

The usual dose for adults is one or two 500 mg tablets up to 4 times in 24 hours.

It is important to always leave at least 4 hours between doses and never to exceed more than 4000 mg per day.

How and when should I take paracetamol?

Besides being used to treat aches and pains, paracetamol can also be used to lower a high temperature.

The recommended dose of paracetamol is one or two 500 mg tablets at a time.

It is important not to take paracetamol with other medicines containing paracetamol.

Don’t expect to feel better instantly – it can take up to an hour to work.

Even if your pain is very severe, do not be tempted to increase the dose or take a double dose.

Overdose can cause serious side effects.

Paracetamol can be taken safely with most prescription drugs, including antibiotics.

However, it may not be suitable for some people. Talk to your doctor if you are taking:

  • anticoagulant warfarin – paracetamol may increase the risk of bleeding if you take it regularly
  • medicine to treat epilepsy
  • medicine to treat tuberculosis (TB)