Many of you would be aware that great care should be taken with medications and drugs during pregnancy. Despite this, surveys around the world confirm that 90% of women take at least one medication at some time during their pregnancy. Many of these are not being prescribed. So what should a pregnant woman do if they have a headache or fever for example? Can they take common over the counter medications like Aspirin or Paracetamol (Also called Acetaminophen in some countries)
Fevers Should be Controlled During Pregnancy
Doctors now agree that controlling fever during pregnancy is very important. Prolonged fever above 38C, especially early in pregnancy, is associated with increased risk of miscarriages and neural tube defects. It is also important to note that spending longer than 10 minutes in a hot bath or sauna can easily raise the body temperature above 38C
Paracetamol is considered safe during pregnancy at the normal recommended dose. Taking paracetamol to control a fever during pregnancy is much safer for the unborn baby than not controlling the fever ,
Aspirin and other NSAIDS should not be used unless prescribed by a doctor. Although their use has not been associated with an increase in birth defects, taking normal doses shortly before delivery may cause bleeding problems in the baby, as well as serious heart and lung problems. Aspirin has also been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage but there is as yet no conclusive evidence for this.
In summary doctors recommend that fevers during pregnancy should be treated
and that Paracetamol should be the fist choice of medication. For more severe
pain requiring something stronger than paracetamol, it is best to see your doctor.