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Is Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom Safe for Pregnant Women?

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When you’re pregnant a cold is the last thing that you wish to experience. Fever, cough and stuffed nose can be really annoying when your body is focusing on growing and nourishing a fetus. However, no matter how much we try to avoid getting ill, during these crucial nine months, it’s almost impossible to stay healthy all the time, especially if we have to pass through winter. Because of their special condition, pregnant women have additional restrictions when it comes to medicines. So, let’s take a look if Tylenol or any other acetaminophen (paracetamol) based drug is allowed while carrying a baby.

What is Tylenol?
Tylenol is the North American brand name for acetaminophen. In other countries you can find it under the call sign of Panadol, Paracetamol, Feverall, Mejoralito and others. Acetaminophen is an analgesic drug that reduces fever for short periods of time, relieves headaches and other minor pains. It’s recommended in case of cough and colds because it’s efficient in treating sore throat, sinus infection, lowers fever and handles muscle pain.

Tylenol Ingredients
As mentioned above, Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom Daytime has the following active ingredients:
– Acetaminophen (325mg): main ingredient that lowers fever and relieves pain (safe for use during pregnancy);
– Dextromethorphan HBr (10mg): tackles cough (can cause side-effects during pregnancy);
– Phenylephrine HCl (5mg): frees-up stuffed nose (should be avoided during the first trimester).

Tylenol Pregnancy Risk Category
Now, let’s see if pregnant women can safely ingest this acetaminophen based drug. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labels Tylenol as ‘class C’ under its pregnancy risk scale, with A being the safest and X the most dangerous. ‘Class C’ means that there are no clear studies on human reproduction, but animal ones have shown that there is an adverse side-effect on the fetus. A ‘class C’ drug, like Tylenol is recommended by the FDA if the benefits outweigh the risks. However, Tylenol’s classification is poorly influenced by the dextromethorphan and phenylephrine ingredients which are considered ‘class C’ while the main ingredient acetaminophen is labelled ‘class A’, safe to use.

Should I Ingest Tylenol If I’m Pregnant?
Any drug that you plan to ingest while pregnant should be advised and recommended by your doctor, especially if you’re at your first pregnancy. There is no drug 100% safe for humans, not to speak about pregnant women which have a lot of additional restrictions.

  • If you ask me, there is no clear answer, whether Tylenol is safe to take during pregnancy or not. What I can conclude after discussing with various specialist, is that, it should be avoided as much as possible in the first trimester of the pregnancy, because that’s when the fetus is the most vulnerable.
  • Next, I would recommend to ingest no more than two tablets a day with at least 10 hours between them. Also, a total of 6 tablets (3 days back-to back) should be enough.
  • Choose only the Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom Daytime formula and avoid the liquid Nighttime one. The second also has Doxylamine succinate as active ingredient, so that’s one more potential side effect causer.
  • Drink lots of fluids when ingesting Tylenol. This way the drug won’t remain in your belly too much time. It’s benefits will also be a little diluted but, the side-effects will be considerably lowered.
  • Tylenol Alternatives During Pregnancy
    Of course, that the ideal option is to ingest acetaminophen without the other risk bringing active ingredients. This means to replace the Tylenol Multi-Symptom tablet with three non-harming products that take care of your symptoms. For example you could swap the dextromethorphan with throat sprays or other sore throat home remedies. You can also spare your pregnancy from phenylephrine with the help saline nasal sprays that aid congestion, or perform hot steam inhalations. For reducing fever you can also check grandma’s home remedies for a cold.

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