Pharmacy experts question UK paracetamol study

Pregnant women should continue taking paracetamol when necessary despite a study that shows the medication is associated with an increased risk of behavioural problems in children.

So says Dr Luke Grzeskowiak, a specialist pharmacist at the Flinders Women & Children's medical centre.

“Paracetamol is useful in treating fever and different types of pain and it still remains our first choice of treating these conditions during pregnancy,” says Dr Grzeskowiak.

Pregnant women should talk to their pharmacist or see their doctor for advice if they are unsure of what to use and for how long to use it, he says.

The key message from the study is to take paracetamol when absolutely necessary and to take it for the shortest possible duration, not to avoid it completely, he says.

The UK study of more than 8000 pregnant women and their offspring, published in the journal JAMA