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Can you take paracetamol when pregnant? Guidelines for painkillers in pregnancy - and medications explained

Before taking any medicine when you’re pregnant, you should check that it’s suitable with your pharmacist, midwife or GP

There are certain medications you can and can’t take when pregnant, but can you still take painkillers such as paracetamol?

Here’s everything you need to know.

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Can you take paracetamol when pregnant?

According to the NHS, most people can take paracetamol safely, including pregnant and breastfeeding women.

However, some people need to take extra care with paracetamol.

You should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you:

  • have had an allergic reaction to paracetamol or any other medicines in the past
  • have liver or kidney problems
  • regularly drink more than the maximum recommended amount of alcohol (14 units a week)
  • take medicine for epilepsy
  • take medicine for tuberculosis (TB)
  • take the blood-thinner warfarin and you may need to take paracetamol on a regular basis

Before taking any medicine when you’re pregnant, including painkillers, you should check that it’s suitable with your pharmacist, midwife or GP.

The NHS website said it’s important to find out about the possible effects of that medicine on your baby, including for medicines prescribed by a doctor and for medicines you buy from a pharmacy or shop.

The NHS also explained that it’s important to never stop taking a medicine that’s been prescribed to keep you healthy without first checking with your doctor, as stopping taking your medicine could be harmful to both you and your baby.

Which medicines are safe?

You can find out information on medicines in pregnancy on the bumps (best use of medicines in pregnancy) website.

The website also has advice on what to do if you have already taken a medicine in pregnancy.

You should also tell your midwife, doctor or pharmacist if you’re using herbal, homoeopathic or aromatherapy remedies or therapies.

If you do decide to use these therapies, you should always consult a qualified practitioner and tell your practitioner that you’re pregnant before discussing any treatment.

The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA) provides information on qualified or registered practitioners.