Ann Pregnancy Birth | Volume 1, Issue 1 | Research Article | Open Access

Acetaminophen is not Safe in Pregnancy

Katsuhiro Toda*

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kitahiroshima Town Toyohira Hospital, Japan

*Correspondance to: Katsuhiro Toda 

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A narrative review of risks of acetaminophen to the fetus is conducted. Prenatal exposure to acetaminophen is associated with cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, communication problems, hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, attention and executive function problems, language delay, lower intelligence quotient, behavioral problems, shorter anogenital distance in male infants, decreased relative numbers of hematopoietic stem cells in cord blood, wheeze, and asthma. Paternal preconception acetaminophen use for 8 day or more is associated with ADHD. A systematic review and meta-analysis showed significant association between prenatal acetaminophen exposure and child asthma risk. Exposure for 29 day or more is probably danger. However, we cannot assert that exposure for 28 day or less is safe. At the present moment, any public organizations or academic associations have not declared the danger of acetaminophen in pregnancy. Each article has poor power to show risks of acetaminophen, however, the integration of the articles that showed adverse effects of acetaminophen may have power to show them. We should recognize that acetaminophen is danger in pregnancy. However, acetaminophen is the safest medicine as analgesics for nociceptive pain and antipyretics in childhood and pregnancy. Fever and pain during pregnancy themselves are probably associated with adverse gestational outcomes. Acetaminophen should be used at the lowest effective dosage and for the shortest time. We should use acetaminophen in pregnancy only when needed and no safer option for pain or fever relief is available. I would like public organizations or academic associations to declare danger (or safety) of acetaminophen in pregnancy.


Acetaminophen; Paracetamol; Adverse effects; Pregnancy; Cerebral palsy; Autism spectrum disorder; Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; Language delay; Intelligence quotient; Shorter anogenital distance; Asthma


Toda K. Acetaminophen is not Safe in Pregnancy. Ann Pregnancy Birth. 2018; 1(1): 1004.

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