PCM in Pregnancy! yes or no?

There has been a recent study which has reported that taking paracetamol (PCM) in pregnancy can possibly increase the risk of your baby having asthma. This was a large study conducted in Norway and published in 2016 (1).
The study showed that paracetamol intake by the mother during pregnancy, increases the risk of the baby going on to develop childhood asthma by 13 %. Also, giving a baby paracetamol in the first 6 months of life increases the risk of asthma by 29 %, as per this study.
However we need to understand that the study does not tell us at what dose this effect is seen. Also, Paracetamol remains the only safe medication to manage fever in pregnancy. And we do know that fever if left untreated can be more harmful for the fetus.
But, the lesson to be learnt from this study is that paracetamol (for that matter any drug) should be consumed in pregnancy only when needed, at the lowest dose possible and for the least amount of time.
So take your PCM with caution and ofcourse after discussing with your doctor!

Reference

1.  Magnus M.C et al. Prenatal and infant paracetamol exposure and development of asthma: the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study Int J Epidemiology first published online February 9, 2016 doi:10.1093/ije/dyv366

 

Author: drnehagami

M.B.,B.S
M.D. ( Obs and Gyne)
D.N.B. ( Obs and Gyne )
M.R.C.O.G ( United Kingdom )
F.C.L.S ( India )

Leave a Reply