The Scary Reason You Might Want To Avoid Tylenol While Pregnant
Asthma is a puzzling health condition that doctors know can be linked to many factors during pregnancy. Everything from air pollution to the mother's health can affect a baby's risk of developing asthma.
And because asthma is one of those children's health conditions that has also risen drastically over the past few decades, it's always in the forefront of current research being done. If we can pinpoint an exact cause of asthma during pregnancy, experts reason, we can more effectively prevent it from developing in children down the road.
A new study found that there is actually a link between a medication called paracetamol taken by mothers during pregnancy and their children having asthma at age three.
At first, when I read that I thought, eh, no big deal. Never even heard of that medicine! But as it turns out, according to Drugs.com, paracetamol also goes by the name of acetaminophen, which is a drug that we've all heard of because it's actually Tylenol.
And Tylenol, of course, sounds a little bit more familiar, right? Apparently paracetamol is the term used to describe the medication–which is used primarily as a fever reducer and pain reliever–more in other countries than the U.S., but the drug is still the same.
As an OB nurse and someone who has been pregnant four times, I had always heard that you should never, ever take ibuprofen while pregnant, which is the other main drug for general aches and pains and fevers. Most of us pretty much have the choice between Ibuprofen (which is a drug like Motrin) or acetaminophen (which is Tylenol) and although pregnant women are told not to really take anything at all, I know I've taken the occasional Tylenol while pregnant, because I was at work and had a massive migraine and needed to, you know, be able to function.
But back to the study: It looked at different factors that might explain the children's asthma and eventually concluded that the medication itself was the most likely cause. It didn't specify an exact amount or what exactly the mother was taking it for, so the findings are still not completely helpful. However, they point to the fact that regular use of any medication during pregnancy carries some risk, so even if it's for something as simple as a headache, you may want to try some natural remedies before turning to medications during your pregnancy.
Did you take any medications while pregnant?