Is it safe to have Tylenol and acetaminophen during pregnancy?

Your road to the motherhood is not as easy as it seems to be. There will be a time during this journey when you will feel tired, lethargic and may feel pain, especially in legs and head. But when the time comes all your pains and efforts will be rewarded in the form of a most beautiful gift of nature, and that will be your baby. So, accept all these hardships of the pregnancy with a smile because yes, it is also one of the most beautiful times of your life which you will remember forever.

During pregnancy, it is always recommended that women should avoid medication until the condition is bearable. However, if you suffer from intense pain and need some relief, then you may take medicines after consulting from doctors. Many women may ask that why should they seek advice for simple medication like Tylenol or similar painkillers. It is essential for you to understand whatever medication you will take it will have a direct impact on your baby in your womb. So, if you intend to take Tylenol during pregnancy for the relief, it is important to consider all aspects carefully.

The first thing you need to know is, what is Tylenol?

The basic ingredient of Tylenol is Acetaminophen. It is used for relieving pain, especially in fever. Though this drug has been categorized as a safe drug for use in different conditions, however, it has also been established that continuous use of any drug can result in kidney and stomach problems.

Can you take Tylenol while pregnant?

Now let’s discuss your actual concern and that if you should use Tylenol in case of pain and fever when you are pregnant. As per healthcare practitioners, Tylenol is recommended for pregnant women in case of fever or pain and preferred over medicines with a similar composition. The research also supports the fact that Tylenol can be consumed during pregnancy for relief purpose.  

But one should remember the fact that medicine is medicine no matter how secure it is, it will impart side effects especially in case of overdosage or misuse. Therefore, to ensure the validity of acetaminophen when a woman is pregnant, further research has been conducted considering the impacts of medicines for different side effects.

The impact of the medication has been observed for following side effects in mothers and baby:

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Problems regarding behavior

Different studies have revealed that if Tylenol or any other form of acetaminophen if used in heavy amounts during pregnancy especially in the third trimester the baby may exhibit behavioral issues like hyperkinetic disorder or hyperactivity disorder (attention deficit). However, to confirm this claim more research is required.

Problem with reproduction glands

In a study, it has been observed that if the pregnant mother is exposed to acetaminophen or Tylenol for more than 20 days consecutively especially within the first and second trimester of pregnancy, the male baby of that mother has shown symptoms indicating cryptorchidism. This is a medical condition in male babies when the testicles of baby fail to descend. However, there is no more evidence found for such claim.

Problem in respiratory system

There has been a claim by researchers that when acetaminophen is consumed in pregnancy, it can result in malfunctioning of the respiratory system in babies especially in the form of asthma. However, this claim requires more investigation as researchers need to find out if the problem is caused by acetaminophen or Tylenol only or it is the condition of the mother that has influenced the development of the baby.

Though experts still believe that these problems cannot result by the acetaminophen or Tylenol alone, therefore, the intake of this drug during pregnancy should not be prohibited until the more research confirms these claims. Also, it is suggested that in the complex condition it is always better to take advice from medical practitioners especially when the pain persists for more than a day or two.

While consulting your medical advisor regarding intake of acetaminophen, it is also recommended to discuss regarding other anti-inflammatory medicines like Naproxen, Sodium salicylate, Ibuprofen, and Aspirin. These medications can help you relieve pain depending on the duration of your pregnancy and your health conditions. However, if you were patient with Hepatitis, then it is strongly recommended that you should not take more than 2gms of acetaminophen per day. You should not exceed dosage unless recommended by your doctor.

Medications recommended for different conditions during pregnancy

During pregnancy, you can come across different health issues, and you may not find medical advice available on an emergency basis. For such scenarios, you should have basic information regarding medication in common health problems, and you can also discuss regarding these medications in advance with your doctor.

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Following are some common health issues for which you can keep basic medicines accessible at home:

Body pain or headaches

If you have a headache or pain in any other part of the body, you can take acetaminophen pregnancy or Tylenol for relief. Tylenol is most effective and safe form acetaminophen that can be used in pregnancy without getting worried about your child health. However, do not exceed recommended dosage. Avoid using high potency painkillers like naproxen or Advil as such medications can affect the level of amniotic fluids especially in the third trimester.

Heartburn or stomach problem

Heartburn and indigestion are common problems during pregnancy due to increased pressure on your stomach. For such condition, you can use drugs like Tums, Pepcid, and Maalox. However, it is better if you try to treat this problem with natural remedies or herbal teas.

Discomfort due to prolonged constipation

Constipation is one another problem you may need to deal with during your pregnancy because of change in hormones. For extended constipation, you can take medications like Milk of Magnesia, Colace, Metamucil, and Citrucel. However, it is again suggested that pregnant women should prefer herbal remedies and try to improve your intake of fiber in the form of vegetables and fruits.

Thus, along with Tylenol and acetaminophen, you can find various medications that are safe to use during pregnancy to relieve any discomfort or pain. However, it is still suggested that during pregnancy women should adopt healthy eating and sleeping habits and try to abstain from artificial medication as much as possible as it is not only their health that is under question here, it is the health of the baby as well that is nurturing in their bodies.

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