Pharmacy News

In case you missed it: new study warns against acetaminophen use during pregnancy

A recent study published in Nature Reviews Endocrinology sheds light on the debate about acetaminophen use for pregnant women. After reviewing the medical literature on the topic going back 25 years, the research team is urging caution on the use of this common OTC during pregnancy because of the strong link associated with adverse neurological, urogenital, and reproductive outcomes in children.

Researchers say the findings point to the need for guidelines on the use of acetaminophen to be changed while more research is conducted. They also note that the studies they analyzed strictly related to cisgender women, not transgender men, nonbinary people, or intersex people.

“We believe the potential for harm from continued inaction exceeds the harm that might arise from precautionary action,” the authors write. “We recognize the limitations of the existing epidemiological literature and the need for rigorous meta-analyses…and therefore we call for a focused research effort.”

Roughly 65% of pregnant women in the United States take acetaminophen during pregnancy. Worldwide, the percentage is over 50%. Regulatory bodies such as FDA and the European Medicines Agency have for a long time considered acetaminophen an option for use in pregnancy, while NSAIDs are contraindicated for use in pregnant women in later pregnancy.

The authors say pregnant women should only take acetaminophen when medically indicated.


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