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Almost every second woman takes painkillers during pregnancy


Paracetamol and Co: Every second pregnant woman takes pain relievers

Expectant mothers are advised to pay special attention to their health during pregnancy, to eat a balanced diet and to stay away from alcohol. You should also be careful with medication. Because the ingestion can be dangerous for the unborn child. But almost every second pregnant woman takes pain relievers.

Pain relievers can be dangerous for the unborn child

Scientific studies have shown that painkillers can be very dangerous during pregnancy. Among other things, this increases the risk of developing autism and ADHD. Still, 47 percent of pregnant women take pain relievers during pregnancy. This was the result of a study ongoing at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE).

Most pregnant women prefer acetaminophen

Most women (86 percent) therefore prefer the active ingredient paracetamol if they need pain medication. The intake was usually only over a short period and in low doses.

Nevertheless, the scientists at the UKE point out that with the careless and habitual use of painkillers during pregnancy, possible side effects can be expected.

Paracetamol is a pain reliever that is approved as a drug during all three trimesters of pregnancy. In general, the over-the-counter availability and high level of awareness ensure a high rate of self-medication.

"With regard to pregnancy, there were hardly any detailed data on the frequency and duration of ingestion in Germany," said study leader Dr. Anke Diemert from the Department of Obstetrics and Prenatal Medicine of the UKE in a message.

"However, current studies indicate an increased risk of asthma after taking acetaminophen during pregnancy. It was therefore imperative to provide reliable data on the use of paracetamol during pregnancy, ”said the expert.

Influence on long-term child health

As part of the PRINCE study (Prenatal Determinants of Childrens Health), in which the UKE has been investigating for several years which factors can influence long-term child health during pregnancy, the pregnant participants are asked once a trimester, among other things, about their pain medication intake .

Precise data on the duration and dose are documented. After evaluating the data from a total of 518 PRINCE participants, it was found that 47 percent of the pregnant women had taken painkillers at least once during pregnancy.

86 percent of women resorted to paracetamol, the duration of intake being predominantly short and the dose low.

Dr. Diemert pointed out that taking paracetamol during pregnancy may well be indicated for pain and fever.

“The only critical points are cases in which paracetamol is taken habitually and possibly without hesitation. Possible side effects for the unborn child should be considered here. ”(Ad)

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