Paracetamol: Can you take it during pregnancy?

The expert: Professor Philippe Deruelle, gynecologist and obstetrician

Is there any risk of taking Doliprane during pregnancy? Is paracetamol dangerous during pregnancy? What alternatives are there? The answers of Professor Philippe Deruelle, obstetrician and gynecologist in Strasbourg.

Can I take paracetamol (type Doliprane or Dafalgan) during pregnancy?

At 3 months, at 7 months… Can a pregnant woman take paracetamol throughout her pregnancy?

“Paracetamol is a drug that can be taken the pregnancyand this in all stages “, assures Professor Philippe Deruelle, gynecologist and obstetrician in Strasbourg. “ The data we have on this subject is reassuringwhich explains why a pregnant woman can take this medicine whenever needed during her pregnancy. “, he continues.

Efferalgan, Dafalgan, Doliprane… Which paracetamol should be preferred for a pregnant woman?

The paracetamol molecule is found in various medicines known by various trade names or is available in generic form. Be careful though: paracetamol is only approved during pregnancy. if it is the only molecule contained in the drug. Combinations with codeine or ibuprofen are by definition not paracetamol alone and should therefore only be taken on the advice and prescription of your doctor, pharmacist or midwife.

How many paracetamol tablets can you take per day during pregnancy?

Thanks to its pain-relieving effect, paracetamol alone responds well to mild symptoms and can therefore be taken for persistent headaches, for example. The pregnancy dose is the same as during pregnancy, which is an average of 1 gram every 4 to 6 hours. The maximum is 4 grams per day. “The expectant mother can also experience mechanical pain related to her pregnancy, ligaments or, for example, in the back. Taking paracetamol can provide relief explains the doctor.

What are the risks of taking paracetamol during pregnancy?

Professor Deruelle states that there have been two types of warnings regarding this molecule for pregnant women, but remains reassuring: “ The first focused on Danger of occlusion of the arterial canal more common, as with ibuprofen. And the second on the more common risk Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children. But in the end, these risks were not confirmed. It is always difficult to conduct studies in pregnant women to question the use of a molecule. In the case of paracetamol, the molecule has been tested and studied and there is no proven risk in pregnant women..

A study on paracetamol and its effect on newborns raises questions

A group of experts recently evaluated the possible effects of paracetamol on the fetus. This abstract, published in the journal Nature Review Endocrinology eIn 2021 he analyzed all studies published between 1995 and 2020 on the subject. And according to his conclusions, paracetamol would act as an endocrine disruptor during pregnancy. « During pregnancy there are changes in the metabolism of paracetamol, making pregnant women and their fetuses more susceptible to toxic effects ‘ decode researchers from the University of Massachusetts in the United States.

After you, There are links between prenatal exposure to paracetamol and the subsequent occurrence of various diseases in the newborn : Speech delay in children, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or behavioral disorders. These worrying findings were also reported in the journal in June 2021 European Journal of Epidemiology. The study found that the risk of ADHD or ASD increased 20% for paracetamol exposure of the fetus. The authors also report disorders of precocious puberty in children or even genital malformations in young boys (e.g. testicular dysfunction).

However, these results have to be put into perspective, as the authors of the study themselves emphasize: An association does not mean that there is a causal relationship, but these results are supported by experimental animal studies and in vitro studies. The set is a sign that the risk was probably underestimated ».

What alternatives are there to taking paracetamol?

Although not prohibited, paracetamol should be consumed sparingly during pregnancy.

Pregnant, do I need to take paracetamol for my pain?

« The molecule isn’t banned, but the idea is not to take it like candy »stresses Professor Deruelle, who advises to use alternatives to painkillers as much as possible, whether to relieve a headache or a back contracture. You can opt for yoga or stretching, for examplea hot-water bottle or a short walk outdoors to unwind.

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