Treat the Fever or Prehaps Not Treat the Fever if You are Pregnant?

Basic strategies when we have an ache, a pain, a fever, is to think about making those complaints go away. Although in the early 1600s Jean Baptist van Helmont, a physician who wanted only to study medicine so that he wouldn't "accumulate riches and endanger my soul", felt that fevers helped the healing process. However in pregnancy, we know that the baby could be at least at our core temperature (a degree higher than what you measure) or a degree higher than our core temp so we have to watch that the fevers do not get too high as to put the fetus at risk. So we have to wonder what to do to bring the fever down safely when pregnant. At Women's Health Practice do provide a list of over the counter medications that are safe in pregnancy, and on that list is the medication acetaminophen. I prefer recommend it over ibuprofen and aspirin in pregnancy for pain, but also used to reduce fever (antipyretic) have been associated with some adverse infant outcomes. Acetaminophen has not been shown to cause birth defects and the only association with problematic use has been increased rates of asthma in children who's moms used acetaminophen during pregnancy. Remember that this medicine, also called paracetamol, or the brand name Tylenol, is a Class C in pregnancy (use only if the risks of the condition treated outweigh the risks of the medicine).  When deciding to treat your fever when you are pregnant weigh the effects of fever against the effects of the medicine you might use.


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