Acetaminophen During Pregnancy

Acetaminophen During Pregnancy


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Acetaminophen in Pregnancy

A very popular drug among women is acetaminophen. It is a fast, inexpensive, effective, and multifunctional: it helps to cure a pain of different nature (menstrual, headache, toothache), is able to reduce the pain of burns and injuries, and lower the temperature, which is very important when you have contraindications of aspirin.

If a woman becomes pregnant, she needs to look at many things in a different way, including acetaminophen. While being pregnant, she is under the risk of various diseases, especially infections and viral diseases. The body weakens the "invasion" of the embryo, and it starts to be ill.

Indications for Receiving Acetaminophen

Paracetamol is used in medical practice as an anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic.

This determines the indications for its use:

  • Pain of various origins (toothache, headache, muscle pain, etc.);
  • High temperature in the presence of inflammation in the body;
  • Flu;
  • Catarrhal diseases.

Although acetaminophen has a boundless popularity today, the question is whether it is possible to use acetaminophen during pregnancy.

The Use of Acetaminophen While Being Pregnant

Even an experienced professional cannot answer with certainty whether acetaminophen can be used during pregnancy. The use of this drug during pregnancy and during breast-feeding is acceptable, but only when it is prescribed by a doctor. Regular intake of acetaminophen during pregnancy is prohibited.

Although a result of the experimental studies showed no negative effects of acetaminophen on pregnancy, there is evidence that acetaminophen penetrates through the placental barrier and is excreted in the breast milk.

Attention: when the temperature rises to 38 ˚C, there is no need to take a medicine. In this case, you can get rid of the fever using traditional methods: infusion of linden flower, a tea with raspberry jam, etc. If the temperature is above 38 ˚C, you need to take acetaminophen.

The Dosage of Acetaminophen During Pregnancy

Acetaminophen During Pregnancy 1

A large amount of acetaminophen can be toxic to the kidneys and liver. However, if it is prescribed in a therapeutic dosage, it will not have such an effect.

Do not forget that this drug has a different form: tablets, powders, rectal suppositories, syrups and suspensions. The most effective of them is a soluble form.

The physician on an individual basis determines a safe dose, but in any case, it should not be higher than the therapeutic dose for adults - according to 500-1000 mg in 3-4 receptions. If you need to take an anti-inflammatory analgesic agent (e.g. a very high temperature has risen against the background of SARS or influenza), then take it starting with a half of a tablet. The treatment must not last more than 7 days.

The Danger of Acetaminophen for Pregnant Women

Despite the relative safety of acetaminophen, it has serious side effects, such as:

  • Allergic reactions;
  • Changes in the blood - thrombocytopenia, anemia;
  • Changes in the urinary system - aseptic pyuria, renal colic, interstitial glomerulonephritis.

However, these side effects will not necessarily manifest themselves, but it is still possible during pregnancy.

Contraindications to receive acetaminophen:

  • Individual intolerance to the drug;
  • Some congenital fermentative disorders;
  • Altered liver or kidney function;
  • Blood diseases.

The Use of Acetaminophen During Pregnancy

The drug can be taken in small doses, so it will be well tolerated. Long-term use of the drug can have toxic effects on the liver and kidneys and provoke allergic reactions.

The First Trimester

The child’s basic organs and systems are forming during the first 12 weeks. For this reason, it is not desirable take acetaminophen in the first trimester of pregnancy, like the other medicines. However, it happens very often when pregnant women feels a slight indisposition and starts to take acetaminophen without a doctor's prescription. If a pregnant woman has caught a cold or a viral disease that are accompanied by headache and fever, the moderate doses of acetaminophen will help a woman to cope with these symptoms and will not harm the fetus.

The Second Trimester

The formation of the fetus ends around the 18th week of pregnancy. Therefore, a pregnant woman must avoid taking any medications before this week. Taking medicines in the second trimester is no longer able to provoke fetal mutations, but it may develop serious changes in the child's organs because of exposure to chemicals. In addition, these mutations can often manifest after birth. Only the doctor determines feasibility of drug therapy: acetaminophen can be used occasionally in extreme cases.

If the pain does not relieve in the second trimester of pregnancy and nothing can help, a woman should take acetaminophen. Paracetamol can also bring the fever down. If an expectant mother has dental problems or acute toothache, she can take acetaminophen and then visit the dentist.

The Third Trimester

In this trimester the risk of infections and the toxic effect of drugs on the body of the baby is very high. The fever is able to cause fetal hypoxia, which is very dangerous.

Cytomegalovirus, herpes viruses and other dangerous infections can create a threat to the fetus and cause many problems in the neonatal period. Thus, acetaminophen in the third trimester of pregnancy is indispensable.

Today, with all the potential dangers of acetaminophen, this medicine is one of the safest nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that are prescribed to women during pregnancy.

Can I Take Acetaminophen During Pregnancy?

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