How Safe Is Tylenol During Pregnancy? What Are the Risks?

Tylenol during pregnancy. pregnant woman holding pills

It’s clear that if you are pregnant, anything you eat, do or take is for two (or 3, etc. if you’re having multiples). That’s why many future mothers pay attention to balanced nutrition, prenatal vitamins and try to avoid unsafe medications. But the truth is that pregnancy is often accompanied by a lot of normal, but annoying, aches and pains. What to take if you don’t feel well? Is Tylenol during pregnancy safe?

What Is Tylenol?

This drug is an analgesic and antipyretic, and belongs to the anilide group. It is used as antipyretic and light painkiller.

The main active ingredient is paracetamol. Its action is possible due to the ability to inhibit cyclooxygenase-1 and 2. At the same time, it also affects the centers in the central nervous system, which are responsible for the work of thermoregulatory and pain centers. Keep in mind that paracetamol does not have an anti-inflammatory effect. As a result, the drug does not affect the state of water-salt balance, as well as the mucous surface in the digestive tract.

It has a quick effect. Half-withdrawal from the body takes from 60 minutes to 4 hours, excreted mainly with urine.

Tylenol during pregnancy. tylenol

Indications

Pain of mild to moderate intensity (including headache, toothache, sore throat and general malaise), fever.

Contraindications

The drug is contraindicated in cases where the patient has a pronounced hypersensitivity (allergy) to the main or one of the auxiliary components.

Tylenol is also contraindicated in the following cases:

  • severe renal impairment;
  • severe violations of the liver.

The drug should be used with caution if the patient is suffering from:

  • benign hyperbilirubinemia (Gilbert’s syndrome);
  • viral hepatitis;
  • alcoholic liver damage, alcoholism;
  • deficiency of glucose-b-phosphate dehydrogenase.

Drugs containing paracetamol should not be taken simultaneously with other drugs containing a similar active substance, in order to avoid side effects or overdose.

In pediatrics, Tylenol is not used until the age of 12.

Tylenol during pregnancy. tylenol gelcaps

Overdose

An overdose can cause an increase in side effects, in particular, in the form of impaired liver function, pallor, anemia, hepatonecrosis.

In case of excessive ingestion, it is recommended to apply symptomatic treatment, gastric lavage, and enterosorbents.

Tylenol Side Effects

When treating with this drug, side effects are extremely rare, because the drug is usually well tolerated.

Occasionally, side effects may occur in the form of allergic reactions – allergic urticaria, itching, rash, swelling, erythema multiforme, etc.

Side effects such as:

  • nausea, vomiting, dizziness;
  • anemia, thrombocytopenia;
  • violations of the liver and kidneys, circulatory system;
  • increased activity of liver enzymes, hepatonecrosis;
  • hypoglycemia.

Tylenol during pregnancy. Pregnant young woman sitting on bed and feeling sick

Precautionary Measures

The use of more than 10 days for pain and 3 days as an antipyretic is not recommended. Make sure not to take Tylenol with other drugs containing paracetamol.

How Safe Is Tylenol During Pregnancy?

Tylenol is a pain reliever that contains the drug acetaminophen. Sometimes doctors recommend pregnant women take this medication to treat occasional mild or moderate pain or to reduce a fever during any trimester of pregnancy.

The statistics says that around 65% of women have taken acetaminophen at some point during pregnancy. In general, it’s considered safer than other options like ibuprofen or aspirin, which may lead to different birth defects. Still, do take Tylenol during pregnancy if it wasn’t prescribed by your doctor. Also, be sure not to combine Tylenol with other medications without consulting your doctor first.

Tylenol during pregnancy. pregnant woman visiting the doctor

Tylenol Extra Strength During Pregnancy

In general, Tylenol Extra Strength is considered safe during pregnancy. At the same time, it contains a higher dosage of acetaminophen than usual Tylenol. You can take this type of Tylenol during pregnancy if your doctor prescribed it, but make sure to take the right dosage.

Tylenol PM During Pregnancy

Tylenol PM is a combination of two drugs: acetaminophen and diphenhydramine (better known as the antihistamine). Both drugs are considered safe for short-term, occasional use during pregnancy. But make sure not to exceed the dosage.

Tylenol during pregnancy. tylenol pm

Tylenol During Pregnancy: Risks & Concerns

Even in spite of the fact that acetaminophen is considered safe during pregnancy, it still has some risks. The use of Tylenol during pregnancy may increase the likelihood of asthma, ADHD and autism in children.

However, there are no strong evidence since many studies were done in animals and often at much higher doses than normal, or through self-reports by women who took Tylenol during pregnancy. Thus, there’s no proof that appropriate acetaminophen use negatively impacts babies. Still, just to be on the safe side, doctors recommend taking the lowest dose for the shortest possible time or using alternative means for relieving the pain.

Experts also say that it’s important to remember that pain and fever during pregnancy can harm the developing fetus as well. That’s way, sometimes possible harm of medications is better than possible harm of the pain a future mother experiences.

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