Can I Take Tylenol Extra Strength During Pregnancy
Tylenol Extra Strength and Tylenol Rapid Release Gels are generally considered safe during pregnancy, but they contain a higher dosage of acetaminophen. With physician approval, pregnant people can take the recommended dosage for adults: two 500 miligram caplets every six hours while symptoms last, and dont take more than six caplets in 24 hours.
What Should Patients Do
At UT Southwestern, we recommend that pregnant patients continue to use acetaminophen as medically necessary. Potential side effects might depend on the dosage amounts, so short-term use is generally safer than long-term use.
Reduce the use of multi-symptom treatments for cold and flu, and take only the type of medication you need. For example, if you dont have a fever but you have a stuffy nose, take an antihistamine only not a combination drug with fever-reducing acetaminophen.
Related reading:8 third trimester pains and how to deal with them
Before taking medication for any type of pain, discuss it with your doctor to ensure youre on the same page and making well-informed decisions. Our Ob/Gyn team is on top of the latest research and only recommends treatment or medication considered safe for both you and your baby.
To visit with an Ob/Gyn about pain relief options during pregnancy, call orrequest an appointment online.
Study Design And Data Collection
Upon enrollment in pregnancy, participants complete up to four telephone interviews to assess maternal characteristics, health history, pregnancy exposures and complications. An outcome interview is conducted at the end of pregnancy and a spectrum of adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes are captured from interview and medical records abstraction. In the enrollment interview, women are queried about their family medical history, previous pregnancy outcomes, socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the woman and her partner, all prescription and non-prescription medication exposures during pregnancy, tobacco and alcohol use. In each subsequent interview, women update exposure histories, and pregnancy events. The exposure histories include start and stop dates, dose, dosage changes, frequencies and indications for all medications, herbal supplements, vitamins, occupational exposures, and prenatal care testing or other procedures.
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Description Of The Study Cohort
MotherToBaby, a service of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists, provides evidence-based information about the risks of medications, chemicals, herbal products, illicit drugs, and diseases in pregnancy. MotherToBaby also conducts prospective studies to assess a spectrum of adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes in pregnant women exposed to diseases or therapeutic agents relative to unexposed pregnancies. Details of study design and subject recruitment have been previously described.1822 Briefly, subjects residing in the United States or Canada that speak English or Spanish are recruited through three primary mechanisms: 1) invitation to participate after a pregnant woman spontaneously contacts the MotherToBaby counseling service 2) direct-to-healthcare provider promotion for specific diseases, or 3) direct-to-consumer recruitment through the Internet/social media.
Creation of analytic sample from MotherToBaby Pregnancy study .
Potential Risks Of Taking Tylenol While Pregnant
Headlines linking Tylenol with potential harmful effects in pregnancy can be scary to read, but its important to understand the way the studies were conducted, and to understand that researchers make it clear that correlation does not equal causation. In other words, even if study results show that the regular use of acetaminophen during pregnancy is linked to disorders such as autism, researchers cannot definitively say that Tylenol is the cause of autism.
The definitive causes of autism and other mood and behavioral disorders have remained elusive, and at best are multifactorial, explains Gaither. Genetics, environmental factors, maternal medications during gestation, intrauterine infections and all have been causally linked to autism. In general, whether youre considering taking Tylenol PM during pregnancy because you cant sleep, or you need to feel human after a cold has taken you down, its smart to read labels and ask your doctor.
In a study review, the FDA found that the strongest link between prenatal acetaminophen exposure and diagnoses such as ADHD occurred in women who took acetaminophen for over 20 weeks of their pregnancy. Anything thats causing protracted pain that leads to a consistent need for pain medication, such as Tylenol, needs to be medically evaluated right away, says Gaither.
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So If The Answer To The Question Is Tylenol Safe During Pregnancy Is No Then Whats A Pregnant Women To Do
We now know that the answer to is Tylenol safe during pregnancy is no.
But since its not safe to take Tylenol during pregnancy, what pain medication is safe?
What pain remedies will help you during pregnancy without potentially harming your baby?
Glad you asked.
Alternatives to Tylenolbetter, safer remediescan be found in this post.
About Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D.
Is There A Link Between Acetaminophen And Adhd
Theres A LOT of interest right now looking at potential correlations between Tylenol and pregnancy to childhood behavioral issues . Super hot topic these days.
Experts are certainly divided on the safety of Tylenol during pregnancy and what the current available research shows.
McNeil Consumer Healthcare points out that no studies have definitely proved that taking acetaminophen while pregnant causes developmental problems in children.
And thats absolutely true. To be clear, no study has proven acetaminophen causes behavioral problems In children. Theyve shown consistent associations, but not direct causation.
So when it comes to looking at any correlation between Tylenol and pregnancy to ADHD, lets turn to the studies. What do research and studies have to say on the subject?
Prenatal Exposure to Acetaminophen and Risk of ADHD
This study looked to see if there is an association between maternal prenatal use of acetaminophen in the Norweigian population.
They really did their homework collecting data with this one. They analyzed not only moms use of acetaminophen, but also considered the reason the medication was used and adjusted for the familial risk for ADHD. And after all those factors they found a modest association between any prenatal maternal use of acetaminophen and the incidence of ADHD.
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Tylenol Is Safe In Regular Doses
Laursen says that the dose of Tylenol for pregnant women is the same as for adults who are not pregnant. Take no more than 3,000 milligrams of acetaminophen every 24 hours.
For regular strength Tylenol, that’s the equivalent of 2 tablets at 325 milligrams per tablet every 4 to 6 hours. And always review proper dosing guidelines on the medicine container.
Also, be aware that acetaminophen is often found in other medications, such as over-the-counter cold, cough, and flu medications. So if you’re taking multiple medications, whether prescribed or over-the-counter, look for acetaminophen listed as an ingredient to make sure you don’t take too much in one day.
Too much acetaminophen can cause severe liver damage, whether you’re pregnant or not. That’s because your liver processes the drug into a form your body can use. Too much can overstress it and cause acute liver failure. In fact, acetaminophen overdoses account for an estimated 50% of overdose-related cases of acute liver failure in the US.
Tylenol While Pregnant: Risks & Concerns
While acetaminophen is largely considered the safest pain reliever to take while pregnant, its not without some risks. Emerging research suggests a possible association between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and a small increase in the likelihood of asthma, ADHD and autism in children. More recently, a concensus among a group of scientists was published, claiming that prenatal exposure to acetaminophen may alter fetal development.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists emphasizing the lack of evidence that proves a direct relationship between the use of acetaminophen during any trimester and fetal developmental issues. Dr. Yamaguchi agrees with the recommendations offered by ACOG and encourages pregnant people to consult their healthcare providers should they have concerns regarding acetaminophen usage.
The cited studies in the concensus arent considered strong scientific evidence since many were done in animals and often at much higher doses than typical, or through self-reports by women who took Tylenol during pregnancy . Much of the criticim of these studies are that they have imperfect controlswhich makes it really hard to separate what factors actually drive the results.
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Taking Tylenol While Pregnant Does Not Cause Adhd
In recent years, a few studies have suggested that using Tylenol while pregnant could increase your baby’s risk for adverse neurological outcomes, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism.
These studies were scrutinized by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Publications Committee. It released a response that pointed out the limits of the studies for any would-be mothers concerned about the results.
“The two major governing bodies in the field have analyzed these studies and determined that they were of very poor quality and did not have proper quality controls and did not use good scientific method,” Laursen says. “Women should not be worried. Tylenol is safe during pregnancy. Hard stop.”
Yes Tylenol Is Safe During Pregnancy
One of those medications is Tylenol, aka acetaminophen. Compared with other over-the-counter pain relievers, Tylenol is considered the safest pain medicine you can take while pregnant. The Baylor College of Medicine Obstetrics & Gynecology recommends it for:
- pains from a stretched uterus
- general minor aches and pains
- flu and cold symptoms
“Tylenol is one of the front-line pain meds that we use during pregnancy,” Laursen says. “It’s safe from your first trimester through the third.”
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There’s Still No Link Between Tylenol Use And Adverse Birth Outcomes
In 2021, a group of scientists urged caution against the drug, citing studies linking acetaminophen use during pregnancy to adverse developmental outcomes.
However, in a response to the paper, other scientists and healthcare experts pointed out limitations and problems in the studies used in the paper and urged “against recommending such precautionary measures” until more accurate data becomes available.
In another response, researchers said that the risks associated with untreated illness in a pregnant individual might pose more danger to a developing fetus than exposure to acetaminophen.
This 2021 rebuttal is just one of many attempts by the medical community to set the record straight. In 2017, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Publication Committee also scrutinized a number of studies linking acetaminophen to behavioral issues. It released a response that pointed out the limits of the studies for any would-be mothers concerned about the results.
“The two major governing bodies in the field have analyzed these studies and determined that they were of very poor quality and did not have proper quality controls and did not use good scientific method,” Laursen says.
Important: The company that makes Tylenol, Johnson & Johnson, previously told Insider that it recommends using the pain reliever as directed. Tylenol’s label says that those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult with a health professional before taking the medication.
But Is Tylenol Safe During Pregnancy
Tylenol is one of the most popular pain medications on the market.
Its used in every hospital in America, available over-the-counter and in prescription-only products.
Over 600 medications contain acetaminophen, aka Tylenol.
Doctors often recommend it, rather off-handedly: Take some Tylenol.
Because ibuprofen has not been FDA-approved for babies under six months, doctors recommend baby Tylenol for infants.
Doctors also often recommend Tylenol to pregnant women prone to migraines and other aches and pains.
Is Tylenol safe during pregnancy? You ask your doctor.
Sure, sure, your doctor says.
Your doctor is, unfortunately, completely wrong and totally misinformed.
The real answer to the question is Tylenol safe during pregnancy is that there is a growing body of scientific evidence showing that Tylenol is not safe during pregnancy or during infancy.
Your doctor should not be recommending Tylenol during pregnancy.
And you should not be taking Tylenol during pregnancy.
If youre pregnant and youve already taken Tylenol, take a deep breath.
Theres no reason to feel guilty.
You didnt know.
You asked your doctor is Tylenol safe during pregnancy and your doctor said yes.
But now you are learning that your doctor was wrong.
Your doctor may be wrong about other things related to pregnancy too.
The information below will inform and empower you.
Dont feel guilty.
Is Tylenol safe during pregnancy? Absolutely not.
Ill explain why.
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What Category Is Tylenol In Pregnancy
The U.S. Food Drug Administration assigns pregnancy categories to drugs based on the risk assessment of fetal harm.
The FDA has marked Tylenol pregnancy category B during all three trimesters of pregnancy.
But what does category B mean?
Its important to note that conducting well-controlled studies on pregnant women is a problem due to ethical issues, so dont get too worried about that. So basically, the available research hasnt shown adverse effects to babies from the medication. Category B drugs are regularly prescribed during pregnancy.
If youre looking for more information on pregnancy drug categories, it should be noted that the FDA has revised this category system for prescription drugs to include more information, but it is unchanged for over the counter medications .
Can I Take Tylenol Pm During Pregnancy
Tylenol PM is actually a combination of two drugs: acetaminophen and diphenhydramine . Both drugs are considered safe for short-term, occasional, provider-approved use while pregnant. The suggested dosage for adults is two caplets at bedtime, with no more than two caplets in a 24-hour period. Long term use is not recommended for anyone.
If youre having a lot of trouble sleeping or experiencing frequent insomnia, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider to find ways of helping you get the rest you need.
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Its Not Just Acetaminophen
Dr. Edward Hallowell, child and adult psychiatrist, founder of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health, and leading authority in the field of ADHD, told Healthline its important to remember that the vast majority of ADHD is passed along through genes.
He adds that other factors should also be considered.
Pregnant mothers who drink too much alcohol or are exposed to tobacco smoke put their unborn child at risk for developing ADHD, Hallowell said. Additionally, any kind of head trauma to the fetus, like trauma to the mothers abdomen during pregnancy, a forceps delivery, or a difficult C-section can lead to ADHD, as well as a lack of oxygen at birth from respiratory distress.
Is It Ok To Take Tylenol When Pregnant
Yes and no. Lets break it down a little here.
Other pain relievers like ibuprofen and aspirin are typically not recommended during pregnancy due to their associations with multiple serious prenatal problems including birth defects and miscarriage.
So by contrast, Tylenol is the safe pain relief option.
Also untreated pain and fever can pose their own risks during pregnancy and Tylenol is often the only medication advised for treatment.
While Tylenol is safer than its alternatives, it is not 100% safe during pregnancy, its not even 100% safe for non-pregnant individuals. No medication is 100% safe.
Just by reading the label youll see that acetaminophen can cause side effects. Also, too much can cause serious liver damage. Since acetaminophen in present in many combination drugs, it can be easy to take more than you realize if you arent checking those labels carefully.
During pregnancy specifically, there has been some research to suggest that Tylenol use might impact your childs development.
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Natural Ways To Relieve Pain During Pregnancy
As much as the health professionals in the studies above advise against taking acetaminophen for pain during pregnancy, pregnant women still need other safe medications and remedies that ease the pain.
Some of the discomforts that pregnant women struggle with from the first trimester to the third that may warrant them needing pain relievers are
- Backaches and pains.
- Moderate pain in the uterus.
- Headaches and migraine.
- Reducing high fever.
Besides using Tylenol to treat pain as maternal-fetal medicine for the reasons highlighted above, there are other medications you must also avoid.
The first group is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines , widely used to treat pain and swelling. Ibuprofen , aspirin, and naproxen are examples of over-the-counter NSAIDs. These could potentially result in miscarriage when taken before 20 weeks. And after 20 weeks, it may cause kidney issues.
So to anyone asking themselves, can you take Aleve while pregnant? The answer is no!
The other group to avoid during pregnancy are opioid painkillers like Codeine, Hydrocodone , and Meperidine . These raise the risks of miscarriages, premature birth, and neonatal abstinence syndrome when a child is born dependent on a substance.
Instead of using Tylenol or any of the above while pregnant, here are natural ways that doctors may suggest and are safe during pregnancy to relieve pain:
What Are The Risks Of Taking Tylenol While Pregnant
No medication is considered 100 percent safe to take during pregnancy. But acetaminophen has been widely used for decades, and extensive research shows that it’s safe to take during pregnancy. It has not been shown to increase the chance for miscarriage or birth defects.
Of course, it’s important to take the right dose. Taking too much acetaminophen can cause liver and kidney damage and anemia in pregnant women and their babies.
There’s no high-quality conclusive evidence in humans that acetaminophen when taken correctly increases the risk of other problems, though researchers are studying whether taking acetaminophen during pregnancy might lead to:
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