Studies show that pregnant women who take painkillers are more likely to have problems.
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen found that premature births and stillbirths were higher among women taking over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Premature births were about 50 percent higher among women who took one of the five painkillers during pregnancy.
A study of more than 150,000 pregnancies over a 30-year period found that the risk of stillbirth was 33 percent higher.
Up to eight out of 10 expectant mothers use painkillers to reduce pregnancy symptoms such as fever and joint pain.
But there are conflicting tips that need to be taken, some of which are considered safe and others are not.
The NHS says paracetamol is a “first choice” painkiller for pregnant women, but warns against using high doses of anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen say their findings call for an “urgent” renewal of current leadership.
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen found that those who took painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen had higher rates of preterm birth, stillbirth and neonatal mortality.
Up to eight out of 10 expectant mothers use painkillers to reduce the symptoms of pregnancy, but there is conflicting advice on which medications to take. The NHS says paracetamol (left) is the “first choice” painkiller for pregnant women, but warns against using high-dose anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen (right)
For the study, between 198 and 2015, 151,141 pregnancies were among the largest.
The team examined the medical records of women taking paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, and naproxen.
CURRENT ADVICE WHAT ADVICE IS AVAILABLE?
Paracetamol is recommended as the first painkiller of choice for pregnant women.
The NHS says it has been taken by many pregnant women without any harmful effects on the mother or baby.
Low doses of aspirin can be prescribed to prevent a condition called preeclampsia during pregnancy and are considered safe to take during pregnancy.
However, high doses of aspirin are not recommended to relieve pain during pregnancy because it can affect the baby’s blood circulation, especially if taken for a long time after 30 weeks.
If paracetamol does not relieve the pain, consult a doctor before taking aspirin for pregnant women.
Although there is no strong evidence that high-dose aspirin is dangerous in the first 6 months (up to 30 weeks) of pregnancy, other painkillers may be more appropriate and less harmful to the baby, according to the health service.
Ibuprofen is usually not recommended during pregnancy, unless you are over 30 weeks pregnant, the NHS says without a doctor’s prescription.
Ibuprofen affects the baby’s blood circulation, and kidney and medical experts believe that there is a link between ibuprofen and early abortion.
Paracetamol is currently considered safe for use during pregnancy.
However, high-dose aspirin is not recommended to relieve pain because it affects the baby’s blood circulation, especially after 30 weeks.
The other three NSAIDs are not recommended for expectant mothers because they are known to affect children’s blood circulation and kidneys.
The results, published in the scientific journal BMJ Open, show that three out of 10 women (29 percent) had an over-the-counter pain reduction during pregnancy.
However, this figure was twice as high for pregnant women between 2008 and 2015, and its use is “growing rapidly,” the researchers said.
Mothers who took at least one of the five painkillers were more likely to develop the disease. This means that their risk of low birth weight was 28 percent higher.
The risk of developing neural tube defects associated with the brain and spine was 64 percent higher among mothers who took the drug, and the risk of congenital malformations affecting the penis was 27 percent higher.
Neonatal mortality – if the baby dies in the first four weeks – was 50 percent higher, the results showed.
Researchers have warned that combining paracetamol with other NSAIDs is the most dangerous compound.
They did not suggest why the drugs harmed unborn babies, and said the mechanism should be revealed in future studies.
Aikaterini Zafeiri, a university PhD researcher and co-author of the study, said expectant mothers should always seek medical advice before taking medication.
He said: “The study found that the ease of access to over-the-counter painkillers, the availability of inaccurate information and the availability of accurate information via the Internet are causes for concern.
“This is especially true when a decision to self-medicate is made incorrectly or partially reported without medical advice during pregnancy.
It should be emphasized that paracetamol is at high risk in combination with NSAIDs and that pregnant women should always consult a physician or obstetrician before taking any over-the-counter medications.
“We call for strengthening formal counseling for pregnant women.”