John Smith, PAGB Chief Executive, comments:
“We welcome new research* on over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, however these findings should not concern or worry pregnant women. It is important to note that the studies reviewed were observational and that the authors themselves acknowledge that the findings should be interpreted with caution, as a number of different reasons could explain the available evidence.
“The official NHS advice on paracetamol is that it can be used through all stages of pregnancy to reduce a high temperature (fever) and relieve pain. This is supported by a large body of evidence from over 50 years of paracetamol use in humans.
“In line with current guidelines, we advise that pregnant women use paracetamol at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time and the researchers agree and stress that this advice remains unchanged.
“We would recommend that pregnant women should always speak to a pharmacist, GP or midwife before taking any medicine, including paracetamol. It’s also important to read the product information carefully and only use in accordance with the on pack instructions and patient information leaflet.”
*A study carried out by the University of Bristol which examined data from 14,000 children between the ages of six months and eleven years.