Professor Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “During pregnancy, women can have symptoms of pain and fever, just like anyone else, and paracetamol is very effective at managing these. But as with any drug, it is best to err on the side of caution and follow the guidance – in the case of paracetamol, to take the lowest possible dose, for the lowest possible time.
“Existing evidence shows that, in the main, paracetamol is a safe drug for the majority of patients. But this study – and other recent studies – call this into question and it is important that we take new research into account and shape updated guidelines for healthcare professionals in the best interests of all patients.
“Pregnant women who have been taking paracetamol to ease discomfort – either as prescribed by their doctor or self-medicated – should not panic as a result of this research. But if they are concerned about taking the drug regularly, over a long period of time they should make a non-urgent appointment with their GP, or visit their local pharmacist.”
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Notes to editor
The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.