Generic Name: Acetaminophen
Indications: Fever, mild pain and moderate pain.
FDA Drug Category: B
Acetaminophen, the main ingredient in Tylenol, has been generally considered safe for use during pregnancy. More recently however, there was a Norwegian study which showed that children exposed to long-term uses of acetaminophen for more than 28 days had "substantially adverse developmenal outcomes at 3 years of age". So untiil more information is available, long-term use of acetaminophen in pregnancy is not recommended. Pregnant women with liver disease, kidney disease or anemia should consult a physician before using acetaminophen during pregnancy.
Pregnant women should take as little acetaminophen as possible to treat mild pain, moderate pain or fever, as directed by a physician. The maximum allowed dose is 4,000 mg per day. Consuming in excess of 4,000 mg per day can lead to kidney damage, liver damage or anemia. If you currently suffer from any of these conditions you should speak with your obstetrician about possible contraindications before taking acetaminophen.
Effects While Trying to Conceive (TTC)
Acetaminophen is generally considered safe while trying to conceive, though like with most other medications, it should only be used when indicated and according to instructions.
Effects on Pregnancy
Acetaminophen is generally considered safe for use during pregnancy. There is no increased risk of miscarriage or fetal/maternal death associated with using the medication according to package instructions.
At least one study has linked regular, daily use of acetaminophen during the second trimester of pregnancy with increased risk of wheezing and/or asthma. The risk is minimal and doctors believe the risk of danger to the fetus due to leaving pain or fever untreated could be higher than the risk of lung-related side effects. Taking acetaminophen during pregnancy has not been shown to have any effect on brain development or intelligence. Acetaminophen is considered one of the safest over-the-counter medications for use during pregnancy, as long as the pregnant woman does not take excessive amounts of the medication.
Safe During Breastfeeding
There are no contraindications for taking acetaminophen while breastfeeding. The pain reliever and fever reducer does pass on to the fetus, but only in amounts at or below approved levels for infant consumption. There have been no reports of birth defects associated with acetaminophen use at recommended doses. Use of acetaminophen while breastfeeding is supported by the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics.