For expecting mothers, pregnancy is a mixed bag of magic and adjustments. Physical and hormonal changes cause fatigue, aches, and pains and challenge day-to-day functioning. Naturally, a mother-to-be would seek relief from the pain. However, knowing if an over-the-counter drug like Panadol is safe in pregnancy is hard.
Ultimately, you and your doctor should decide what’s right for you and your baby. Before meeting with your doctor about Panadol, we’ve put together some information to review so you can come to the table prepared.
What Is Panadol?
According to the Panadol website, Panadol is “an over-the-counter pain relief medication that provides effective temporary relief from mild to moderate pain associated with many different common conditions – including headache, migraine headache, osteoarthritis, cold and flu symptoms, toothache, muscular aches, sore throat pain and period pain. Panadol can also help to reduce fever when you’re suffering from a temperature.”
What Is The Active Ingredient In Panadol?
Panadol’s active ingredient is paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen, and found in Tylenol.
Is Panadol Safe In Pregnancy?
There is conflicting information on whether Panadol is safe in pregnancy. According to Panadol’s website, it’s safe for consumption with most pregnancies, as long as your doctor agrees. According to emedicinehealth.com, “acetaminophen and paracetamol may be acceptable for short-term use in all stages of pregnancy.”
However, it is always worth investigating any associated risks before taking Panadol during pregnancy.
Associated Risks of Taking Panadol During Pregnancy
A study in 2019 revealed the potential risks of taking any acetaminophen-related drug during pregnancy include increased occurrences of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In the United States, there are multiple lawsuits against manufacturers and retailers alike for dispensing a potentially harmful substance to expecting mothers.
It’s crucial to distinguish between causation and correlation: the study is imperfect and has come up against plenty of criticism. However, when answering whether Panadol is safe in pregnancy, it’s vital to understand the risks and benefits before taking any medicine.
Highlights of the study include the following:
- It was conducted at Johns Hopkins University by Xiaobing Wang, M.D. where they collected blood from the umbilical cords from 996 births.
- Each sample measured the amount of acetaminophen and two of its byproducts.
- 25.8% of children were diagnosed with ADHD, and 6.6% were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder
- In the United States, the FDA has not changed its guidance on acetaminophen consumption during pregnancy but urges extreme caution with use.
Natural Ways To Relieve Pain During Pregnancy
Given that the mentioned study has opened the door to potential risks associated with Panadol’s active drug, the decision to take Panadol should be made between you and your doctor. The risks might be upsetting, as pain during pregnancy is difficult. However, there are some safe and natural methods you can use to help ease any discomfort you’re experiencing.
Drinking plenty of water is a foundational building block to overall wellness but is especially crucial during pregnancy. Staying hydrated can help reduce headaches, which are becoming increasingly common during pregnancy. Staying hydrated also helps you:
- Flush out toxins
- Keep your skin soft
- Reduce swelling, which can lead to discomfort
- Decreases risk of Urinary Tract Infections
Prenatal massage reduces stress and helps you release muscle tension. Stress leads to various health issues, including headaches, an upset stomach, and sleep issues. Massage can help with both of these issues and assist with hormonal regulation, reducing swelling and easing nerve pain.
There might be days when you don’t want to move, but exercising during pregnancy has shown multiple benefits as a healthy and natural alternative to taking pain medication during pregnancy.
According to Mayo Clinic, women who exercise during pregnancy benefit from the following:
- Reduced backaches, bloating, constipation, and swelling
- A lowered risk of excess weight gain
- Shorter labors
Some forms of exercise to consider include the following:
- Yoga: helps keep flexibility and muscle tone while easing stress and calming the mind.
- Swimming: helps relieve aches and pains, especially as you start carrying more weight.
- Walking: helps keep you at a healthy weight and reduces stress.
Always consult your doctor before starting an exercise routine to mitigate any risks.
When it comes to you and your pregnancy, there is much information to sort through. When you’re trying to answer the question, is Panadol safe in pregnancy, gather as much information as possible, speak with your doctor, and make the decision that is right for you.
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