FDA Advice on Tylenol PM During Pregnancy

Julie Kirk
Contributor Donna Theobald
Pregnant woman sleeping comfortably

If you are expecting a baby and having difficulty sleeping, you may be wondering if Tylenol PM is safe to take while pregnant. However, prior to taking any over-the-counter medications, it is important that you first discuss this with your doctor.

Food and Drug Administration Recommendations

Can pregnant women take Tylenol PM? Tylenol PM is a combination of the pain reliever acetaminophen and the antihistamine diphenhydramine (or more commonly known as Benadryl). Tylenol PM during pregnancy is considered safe to take for short-term use. It is unlikely to cause harm or potential risks or birth defects to your baby.

The FDA offers additional information and resources on medicine and pregnancy on their website.

Use Tylenol Products Per Doctor's Advice

If you are sick, having pain or discomfort, or experiencing insomnia, your doctor may even recommend regular strength Tylenol or Tylenol PM. However, you should never use Tylenol or Tylenol PM long-term, as it should only be used as a means for short-term, temporary relief. You should always follow your doctor's instructions as to what the appropriate recommended dosage of Tylenol or Tylenol PM is, and you should never exceed that dosage.

Tylenol Website Warnings

The Tylenol website also offers information and advice on the use of Tylenol products in general and during pregnancy. It reads: "If you are pregnant or breast feeding, seek the advice of your healthcare professional before using TYLENOL® or any other medication."

Is Tylenol Considered Safe to Take While Pregnant?

Tylenol and Tylenol PM are considered safe to take during pregnancy. However, a recent study suggests a link between taking Tylenol prenatally and conditions such as asthma, ADHD, autism, lower IQ, and childhood behavioral problems. The study also states that even though these are rare, serious complications, acetaminophen should still be used only as needed at the lowest effective dosage and for the shortest amount of time.

Natural Sleep Strategies

Always try natural remedies to help you sleep before you take medications. Here are some ideas to help you fall asleep and stay asleep:

  • Avoid drinking caffeine.
  • Drink liquids frequently during the day, but slow down and drink less liquid 2 hours before bedtime so you won't have to get up to use the restroom.
  • Ask a loved one for a massage.
  • Sleep with extra pillows between your knees, feet, behind your back, and in front. You may want to consider buying a maternity pillow.
  • Eat healthy and include plenty of protein.
  • Take your prenatal vitamins several hours before bedtime.
  • Take a nap during the day if that helps make up for lack of sleep at night.
  • Get plenty of physical exercise during the day.
  • Take a yoga class that stresses breathing and relaxation.
  • Ask friends and family for help if you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.

Always Consult Your Physician

Your doctor's advice is of the utmost importance when you are having difficulty sleeping. Consult your physician to get the most recent information on whether Tylenol PM is safe for pregnancy in your situation.

FDA Advice on Tylenol PM During Pregnancy