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Can You Take Tylenol While Pregnant?

last year8 min read
Last updated: Jan 20 2023

Got pregnancy aches and pains? While you may be reaching for the Tylenol, pregnancy might have other plans. So can you take Tylenol while pregnant?

Can You Take Tylenol While Pregnant?

Muscle cramps, backache, headaches.

Before you were pregnant, you might never have thought twice about taking Tylenol when you were in pain.

But when you’ve got a baby on board, something as simple as taking a pill seems to turn into a complicated decision.

So can you take Tylenol while pregnant? The answer is usually yes.

But here’s the full story on taking Tylenol during pregnancy.

In this article: 📝

  • What is Tylenol?
  • Is Tylenol safe during pregnancy?
  • How much Tylenol is OK while pregnant?
  • Problems with Tylenol and pregnancy
  • Can you take Tylenol PM while pregnant?
  • Can taking Tylenol while pregnant hurt the baby?

What is Tylenol?

Tylenol is a brand-name, over-the-counter medication with the active ingredient acetaminophen (known as paracetamol in Europe).

A lot of people in the US take Tylenol for general aches and pains or while recovering from surgery, as it doesn’t often cause a potential bleeding risk, like ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatories.

Is Tylenol safe during pregnancy?

We have some good news here: yes, doctors overwhelmingly agree that Tylenol should be the first choice of painkiller during pregnancy.

Many medications are off-limits during pregnancy because of their side effects or because we don’t have enough research to show that they’re safe.

But generally, Tylenol is fine to take for the occasional headache, leg cramp, or fever.

It’s still a good idea to check in with your doctor in case there’s anything in your unique medical history that means Tylenol isn’t your best option.

Can I take Tylenol in the first trimester?

Yes, you can generally take Tylenol during pregnancy in your first trimester ‒ it’s not known to cause any issues for you or baby during early pregnancy.

However, it’s important to stick with the recommended dosages, as excessive doses can cause potential issues or health risks.

Is it safe to take Tylenol in early pregnancy?

Yes, you can take Tylenol while pregnant in the first few weeks ‒ even before you find out you’re pregnant.

Can I take Tylenol during the second trimester?

Yup, it should be fine to take the recommended dosage of Tylenol during the second trimester of pregnancy.

Is Tylenol safe third trimester?

Yes, it’s safe to take Tylenol, in its recommended dosage, in the third trimester of pregnancy ‒ it shouldn’t cause any issues for you or baby.

Can I take Tylenol while 9 months pregnant?

Yes, Tylenol is safe to take in late pregnancy ‒ even right up until labor.

Is 500mg Tylenol safe during pregnancy?

What about Tylenol Extra-Strength while pregnant?

Well, it should be fine to take, but as it’s extra-strength acetaminophen, it’s best to check this with your doctor first.

Can you take acetaminophen during pregnancy?

Yes, acetaminophen is considered safe to take throughout pregnancy.

According to this 2017 study, acetaminophen is actually the safest painkiller to take in pregnancy ‒ as long as you follow the dosage guidelines.

How much Tylenol is OK while pregnant?

So how much Tylenol can I take while pregnant?

If you only need to take Tylenol once for a headache, or for a few days to treat a fever, you can take it exactly as you would have done before you were pregnant.

When it comes to the Tylenol pregnancy dosage, it’s just the same as the recommended dose for non-pregnant people.

Just don’t exceed the maximum dose, which is generally two regular strength (325mg) tablets every four to six hours.

As always, double-check the packaging to make sure you have the right dose.

How often can you take Tylenol while pregnant?

You can take just as much Tylenol while pregnant as you can while not pregnant.

Usually, most painkillers can be taken every four to six hours, but if you’re pregnant, it might be better to err on the side of six hours, if you can.

Problems with Tylenol and pregnancy

Even though it’s usually safe to take Tylenol while pregnant, it’s still a medication that enters your bloodstream and crosses the placenta.

There are some things to keep in mind if you’re taking any form of acetaminophen during pregnancy.

Here are some situations where you might want to be extra cautious:

When Tylenol isn’t the medication you need

Say you’re using Tylenol to lower your fever, but you don’t feel any better after two to three days.

You might need a different treatment, like antibiotics for an infection.

At that point, it’s best to stop taking the Tylenol and call your doctor for advice.

When you need long-term pain relief

If you’ve been injured or have chronic pain and need to take a pain reliever every day, your doctor might suggest something different.

Too much Tylenol can damage your liver even if you’re not pregnant.

If the regular dose isn’t enough, it’s time to talk about other options.

When you have a max strength version

Tylenol is available in lots of different strengths and also in combination with other medications that are not recommended during pregnancy (such as ibuprofen or decongestants).

To make sure you’re getting a pregnancy-safe medication and dosage, check that what you have is regular-strength Tylenol.

Can you take Tylenol PM while pregnant?

Tylenol PM is acetaminophen combined with an antihistamine.

The diphenhydramine (AKA Benadryl) in the Tylenol PM is generally considered safe during pregnancy, but it can make you drowsy.

Because it crosses the placenta, it can make your baby drowsy too.

You might notice a decrease in the number of kicks you feel in the evening if you take this medication.

If you’re having trouble sleeping during pregnancy, it’s often better to practice good sleep habits like turning off screens an hour before bed, cutting caffeine in the afternoon, and sleeping in a cool room.

Can taking Tylenol while pregnant hurt the baby?

While Tylenol during pregnancy is considered the safest painkiller you can take, it doesn’t come without its risks.

Can Tylenol cause miscarriage?

There are some scary headlines out there that link taking Tylenol while pregnant to miscarriage.

Rest assured, mama, that these stories generally twist the facts, or come from studies that found a correlation but did not officially link taking Tylenol during pregnancy to miscarriage.

Remember, pregnancy loss is never your fault.

So the bottom line? While pregnancy is often uncomfortable, you shouldn’t have to be in pain.

The overwhelming evidence shows that Tylenol is the safest pain relief you can take during pregnancy.

But if you have any questions or concerns about acetaminophen or any other medication during pregnancy, your doctor will be able to answer them.

Does taking Tylenol during pregnancy cause autism?

We can’t definitively say whether taking Tylenol during pregnancy causes autism in babies, as there’s not enough research.

This 2016 study looked at the link between taking Tylenol while pregnant to autism spectrum disorder in babies, but concluded that the limited data they have doesn’t seem to link Tylenol during pregnancy to autism.

Does Tylenol cause ADHD in pregnancy?

Again, we can’t say definitely yes or no as to whether taking Tylenol while pregnant can cause ADHD (attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder) in babies.

This recent study suggests that there is a link between “prenatal and perinatal acetaminophen exposure and childhood neurodevelopmental risk”, but that they need additional investigations to give a definite answer.

Does Tylenol go to placenta?

Yes. While you’re pregnant, most of the things that you consume will travel across the placenta to baby.

That’s why it’s vital to follow the instructions when taking Tylenol during pregnancy, for both yours and baby’s safety.

So, can you take Tylenol while pregnant? Yes, as long as you follow the instructions and don’t exceed the recommended dosage.

Looking for other tips during pregnancy? Why not ask our mamas of Peanut?

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