Q&A: Can I Take Panadol If I’m Breastfeeding?

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Question & Answer

A pesky headache, sore neck, or fever usually has us reaching for the paracetamol, but is it safe to pop a Panadol while breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding mums are always rightly cautious when it comes to taking medication that could be passed onto baby via breastmilk, including Panadol. According to the research, paracetamol has been taken by large numbers of women while breastfeeding, without any adverse effects on mum or bub reported. But does that mean it’s completely safe?

Here’s what you need to know about taking Panadol while breastfeeding.

Can I take Panadol while breastfeeding?

While Panadol does appear in breastmilk, it’s in very small amounts and is unlikely to harm your baby.

According to Health Direct paracetamol is the first choice of painkiller if you’re breastfeeding. Health Direct does recommend only taking the recommended dose for the shortest possible time.

WA’s Department of Health also says paracetamol can be used safely during breastfeeding to treat mild pain or reduce fever.

Midwife Kathy Fray explained to Mum’s Grapevine that mums need to weigh up the evidence on paracetamol while breastfeeding. “Due to Research Ethics Committees being unable to approve trials for nearly any pharmaceutical drug on pregnant women, it is not possible to say paracetamol is safe during pregnancy,” she said. “However, from much anecdotal evidence, it does appear paracetamol is not unsafe during pregnancy – and is certainly regarded as the safest over-the-counter general pain med to take.”

As with any medication whilst breastfeeding, it’s recommended you speak to your doctor before making a decision.

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