Pregnancy and breastfeeding are two significant milestones in the lives of women. There are several precautions a pregnant woman should take, such as paying attention to the medication, liquids, and food she ingests. It is always best to seek professional advice before taking any medication during pregnancy. One medication pregnant women take might be dangerous for a developing fetus. Several scientists published a statement asking health providers to be cautious when recommending paracetamol or acetaminophen-based drugs to pregnant women.
Research shows that acetaminophen might interfere with fetal development
The statement signed by more than 91 scientists explains that more studies are needed to conclude if and how dangerous paracetamol can be for fetal development. Still, for now, doctors should avoid recommending it to pregnant women. Some of the risks for the fetus are reproductive, urogenital, and even neurodevelopment disorders.
One of the 13-coauthors of the statement, David Kristensen, associate professor at the University of Copenhagen, explains that there are medical instances when pregnant women might need to take acetaminophen. Some of the medical reasons are severe pain and fever. Worldwide statistics indicate that more than 50% of women use acetaminophen during pregnancies and that most of them are not aware of the potential dangers of this medication.
What are other safe medication options for pregnant women?
Paracetamol has been the go-to pain reliever for pregnant women, and if it is deemed unfit after more in-depth research, pregnant women are left with little to no other option. The other most common alternatives to paracetamol are ibuprofen and aspirin. Some health experts mention that ibuprofen can trigger congenital disabilities and other health issues to the fetus, while aspirin can cause congenital disabilities and bleeding in the brain. Until more complex human studies are conducted, it is best to ask health providers about any medication one might want to take during pregnancy.