Paracetamol is one of the drugs considered allowed during pregnancy. It is the drug that is generally prescribed as a pain reliever to pregnant women, supposedly whenever it is strictly necessary.
According to the Vademecum, in recommended doses, paracetamol does not have harmful effects so it is not contraindicated during pregnancy. Although there have been some isolated publications that have associated the use of paracetamol during pregnancy with a lower weight and height of the fetus at birth, a subsequent study has not confirmed that it produced fetal toxicity.
But a very revealing research published by the International Journal of Epidemiology has come to light that indicates that paracetamol in pregnancy is not so harmless.
The study, carried out by the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) and the Municipal Institute for Medical Research in collaboration with the University of Aarhus (Denmark), has revealed the relationship between the use of this drug in pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, and the risk of children suffering from respiratory problems or developing asthma during the first seven years of life.
Specifically, it confirms that the intake of this drug with analgesic properties increases the risk of asthma by 20% during the first 18 months and up to 50% if the study is extended to seven years.
The news seems alarming since 50% of pregnant women take paracetamol, some even do it without medical indication without knowing that “it crosses the placenta and the fetus does not have the capacity to metabolize it,” as Manolis Kogevinas, one of the authors of the study.
The research could confirm the hypothesis that asthma develops in the prenatal stage, and undoubtedly the indiscriminate use of the drug could be one of the answers to why this respiratory disease has become the most frequent among children.
In a less forceful way (maybe it’s just a matter of time), the use of antibiotics and antacids in pregnancy has also been linked to the development of childhood asthma.
Seeing the panorama, when in doubt, it is preferable to completely avoid drugs during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, or to opt for natural recipes that do not have adverse effects during pregnancy, always after consulting with the gynecologist.