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Paracetamol 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, osteoarthritis, pain and fever symptoms due to cold and flu, toothache, muscular aches, sore throat pain and period pain. Paracetamol can also help to reduce fever when you’re suffering from a high temperature.
The active ingredient, paracetamol (acetaminophen), is a common pain reliever that helps to reduce fever and ease mild to moderate pain
Is Paracetamol suitable for use when pregnant?
While there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to the question of whether you should use paracetamol when pregnant (this should always be decided by your doctor), in most cases, paracetamol-based pain relievers are considered suitable for use to take during your pregnancy. This is because there is no clear medical evidence that paracetamol may be harmful to an unborn baby when taken at the recommended dose.
You should always consult your doctor or a healthcare professional before taking any form of medication, including paracetamol, while pregnant – to make sure it’s right for you.
When using paracetamol, be sure to always follow the directions for use that are found on the product label. It is recommended that you only take paracetamol for the shortest possible amount of time and in the lowest effective dose.
You may be wondering whether paracetamol is suitable for use for an expecting mother to use in the early stages of pregnancy (the first 12 weeks). This is a natural concern, since many doctors may recommend that a woman avoid taking any medication during her first trimester of pregnancy.
The reason for this advice is that the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy is a key stage of development for an unborn baby (during which organs begin to form) and some medications may pose a health risk during these vital weeks.
Of course, as mentioned above, you should always consult a healthcare professional before you use any medication (including paracetamol) no matter what stage of pregnancy you are in.
Headaches are a common symptom during the first trimester of pregnancy, although the exact reason for this isn’t always clear. It’s possible that changing hormone levels may be to blame; however, stress, fatigue or a sudden lack of caffeine (for women who’ve had to give up their morning coffee while pregnant) are also all potential causes of headaches in early pregnancy.
Whatever the reason for your headache, or any other form of mild to moderate pain you might experience while pregnant, paracetamol can help to give you some relief. Again, always be sure to speak with your doctor about taking medication during pregnancy before you use paracetamol.
How often can you take Paracetamol when pregnant?
Your doctor is the best person to advise you on how often you should take paracetamol when pregnant (if at all), and on what may be the right dosage for you.
In most cases, it is still recommended that you only take paracetamol for the shortest possible amount of time and in the lowest effective dose.
For adults, the usual recommended dose of paracetamol is 500 to 1,000mg every four to six hours, with a maximum of 4,000mg in any 24 hour period.
Always follow the dosage instructions on the product label when using any form of medication. If your pain continues despite treatment with paracetamol, seek further medical advice before increasing the amount or frequency of your dosage.
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