Can I take paracetamol during pregnancy?

Content supplied by NHS Choices

Ideally, you should avoid taking medicines while you’re pregnant, particularly during the first three months of pregnancy. Often, mild conditions such as colds and minor aches and pains don’t require treatment with medicines.

If you feel that you need to take medicines while you’re pregnant, always talk to your midwife or GP first. You can also get advice from your local pharmacy or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

If you’re pregnant and need medication for short-term pain relief or to reduce a high temperature, it’s recommended that you take paracetamol. As with any medicine taken during pregnancy, use paracetamol at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time.

Paracetamol has been used routinely during all stages of pregnancy to reduce high temperatures and for pain relief. Overall there seems to be no clear evidence of harmful effects on the unborn baby.

If the recommended dose of paracetamol doesn’t control your symptoms or you’re in pain, speak to your midwife or GP for further advice. Depending on the cause, they may recommend other medication to help you.


NHS Choices

Published Date 2011-02-02

Last Review Date 2009-04-29

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