Acetaminophen in Pregnancy

Assumption: Acetaminophen is safe during pregnancy.

This is only one study, but it is the only long-term study of its kind and the results may surprise you.  Children whose mothers had taken acetaminophen for 28 days or more during pregnancy showed delays in motor and communication skills and had more behavioral problems than their siblings who were not exposed to the drug.  The authors of the study hypothesize that taking  acetaminophen for short periods will likely not cause damage.  They also caution that further research is needed before concluding causality.

My Views:While I understand that the authors of the study do not want to cause undue alarm, I think it is important that pregnant women understand that any chemical they put in their bodies reaches the fetus and it is the doctor’s role to help her weigh the risks (proven or not) and the benefits of taking the drug.  When a drug is assumed safe, like acetaminophen, people often are not as cautious with its use and do not fully think about risks vs benefits.  It is important to make studies like this known so women can make decisions based on even *possible* consequences.