Postpartum Pain Relief from Acetaminophen Alone

Over-the-counter medications containing acetaminophen provide adequate relief for postpartum pain, according to a review headed by Dr. Doris Chou, medical officer with the department of reproductive health and research at the World Health Organization.

Perineal pain can result from bruising during the delivery and can interfere with a mother’s first few days with the newborn, according to the researchers.

The Cochrane Library

The review was conducted to further study this quality of life issue. It appeared in . The reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice through the examination of both the content and quality of existing trials.

While acetaminophen is already prescribed by doctors for postpartum pain, it is usually accompanied by ibuprofen with a narcotic, such as Percocet. Yet, Tylenol alone has the least side effects.

The reviewers analyzed 10 studies that took place between 1973 and 1992. A total of 1,367 female participants received either a single dose (500 mg) of acetaminophen, a double dose (1,000 mg), or a placebo. Those that received acetaminophen rather than a placebo were 95 percent more likely to report pain relief.

According the results, reviewers concluded that acetaminophen alone seems to have an effect on pain relief and because of the low side effect profile it may be a safer and more effective intervention treatment. However, data on the safety of treating breastfeeding mothers with acetaminophen and the effects on their babies was not assessed.

Over-the-counter medications containing acetaminophen provide adequate relief for postpartum pain, according to a review headed by Dr. Doris Chou, medical officer with the department of reproductive health and research at the World Health Organization.