Paracetamol is a medicine used to treat fever and mild to moderate pain. The usual dose for adults is one or two 500 mg tablets up to four times in 24 hours. Many pregnant people will need to take certain medications, and the NHS has advice on taking different pain relievers.
There may be times when people need to take a pain reliever, such as acetaminophen.
The NHS says: “It is safe for people to take paracetamol, including pregnant and breastfeeding women. “
He notes that it has been taken by many pregnant and breastfeeding women “without harmful effects to the mother or the baby”.
In terms of pain relievers, the NHS says paracetamol is the “first choice” for pain relievers if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Nonetheless, the NHS says: “Before taking any medication during pregnancy, including pain relievers, check with your pharmacist, midwife or general practitioner that it is appropriate.”
However, it is important that you never stop taking any medicine that has been prescribed for you to stay healthy “without first consulting your doctor”.
This is because stopping your medicine could harm you and your baby.
The NHS stresses that not all “natural” remedies or complementary therapies are safe during pregnancy.
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Bumps, the health and pregnancy medication site, agrees that paracetamol is generally recommended as the first choice pain reliever for pregnant women.
Although “it cannot be said that a drug is absolutely safe to use during pregnancy, there is currently no strong evidence that paracetamol will harm your baby,” he adds.
He notes, however, that pregnant women are generally recommended to use the lowest dose of paracetamol that works, only for as long as needed.
It is important to make sure that the other medicines in the combination products can be taken during pregnancy and that you do not take more than the recommended daily dose of paracetamol.
No increased risk of miscarriage was identified in either of the two studies of women who took paracetamol during pregnancy, adds the site.
He adds: “No increased risk of giving birth too early (before 37 weeks gestation) was shown in the only study that examined this risk in women who took paracetamol in the third trimester.”
Advice on the site also says the organization would not expect an increased risk to your baby if “the father took paracetamol before or around the time of conceiving your baby.”
You should also tell your midwife, doctor or pharmacist if you are using herbal, homeopathic or aromatherapy remedies or therapies.
Some people also need to take extra care with paracetamol. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have ever had an allergic reaction to paracetamol or any other medicine or if you have liver or kidney problems.
You should do the same if you are taking medicines for epilepsy, medicines for tuberculosis or warfarin, a blood thinner, and you may need to take paracetamol regularly.
The NHS also warns that an overdose of paracetamol can cause serious side effects.
“Don’t be tempted to increase the dose or take a double dose if your pain is very bad,” he says.