Can I take acetaminophen during pregnancy?

When a woman is pregnant, it is quite normal for her to have many doubts related to pregnancy, not only with what should she eat, what foods or drinks she can consume or not, for example, what habits should she suppress or follow ... but also what is the case with something so important with medication and drugs that would be considered safe, and that could ultimately consume peacefully during the 9 months that tends to last pregnancy.

He paracetamol , as you surely know, is characterized by being a drug that presents analgesic properties , which means that it is useful to relieve mild to moderate pain or discomfort such as headache, muscle pain, menstrual periods ...

paracetamol-pregnancy

It acts by inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandins, which are cellular mediators responsible precisely for the onset of pain. Further, contributes antipyretic effects , so that it is not only useful to relieve pain, but to reduce fever.

Although acetaminophen is a safe drug at normal doses, in many different scientific studies have precisely related to its consumption with various health problems and disorders. For example, recently the European health authorities warned of excessive consumption of ibuprofen, which it could be dangerous to the heart .

The risks of paracetamol consumption for the baby

According to the results obtained from a study led by the Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal) of Barcelona, it seems that a prolonged consumption of paracetamol during pregnancy would be related to an increased risk of autism, hyperactivity or impulsivity .

In the study, a total of 2,644 mother-child pairs were selected and asked about the consumption of paracetamol during pregnancy, so that they classified their consumption as 'Never, sporadic or persistent' . Then they evaluated 88% of the children when they were one year old, and 79.9% at the age of five.

It was found that around 43% of the children evaluated at one year of age had been exposed to paracetamol consumption at some time during the first 32 weeks of gestation, and 41% at five years.

paracetamol-consumption-pregnancy

Thus, it was discovered that the children evaluated after five years who had been exposed to the drug had around 40% more risk of presenting symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsivity .

But it was found that the risk was even greater, since those children who had been exposed to the drug for a prolonged period had a worse performance on the test that measures the lack of impulsivity, attention and speed of visual processing (the K-CPT exam). ). However, in the case of males there was an increase in two symptoms of the autistic spectrum.

According to the results of this study it would be confirmed that Paracetamol could be harmful to the neurological development of the fetus .

And to what should these effects be? Apparently, the effects are related to the analgesic action of the drug, specifically because to alleviate the pain it acts on the cannabinoid receptors of the brain, being able to alter the mechanisms by means of which these receptors tend to determine both the maturation as the connectivity of neurons.

autism-paracetamol-pregnancy

So is it not safe to take acetaminophen in pregnancy?

Despite the results in this and other scientific studies, it may surprise you that today Paracetamol is still considered a safe drug that can be consumed during pregnancy without any problem .

Yes, as long as its consumption is short and never prolonged in time , not consuming it beyond 72 hours in a row.

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