Trending

Filed under: News | Misc

 

Acetaminophen During Pregnancy May Be Linked To ADHD In Children

Feb 24 2014, 8:21pm CST | by

2 Updates
Acetaminophen During Pregnancy May Be Linked To ADHD In Children
 
 

YouTube Videos Tweets Comments


Top Tweet

Full Story

Acetaminophen During Pregnancy May Be Linked To ADHD In Children

Acetaminophen has been accumulating some evidence against its routine use in recent years, and now there may be more: The drug, if used during pregnancy, may raise the risk of behavior problems in the children years later. The authors of the new study, out in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, say it’s too early to make any new recommendations for the public just yet. But since the results do suggest that prenatal use may as much as double the risk of behavior disorders in the child, pregnant women may want to take the study into consideration, or talk with their doctors.

The study followed over 64,000 families in the Danish National Birth Cohort. The mothers filled out questionnaires regarding the frequency of their acetaminophen use during pregnancy, and answered questions about various aspects of their children’s behavior. Official diagnoses of hyperkinetic disorder (HKD), a severe form of ADHD, were tracked, as well as the number of prescriptions for ADHD medications (e.g. Ritalin).

Just over half the women taking part in the study used acetaminophen during pregnancy.

Use of the drug was strongly linked to increased risk for ADHD in the children in the first seven years of life, an increase of as much as 30%. Acetaminophen was also linked to a 37% greater risk for having an HKD diagnosis. And the more often the pregnant mothers used the drug, the higher their children’s risk of behavioral problems.

“When women reported having used acetaminophen for 20 or more weeks during pregnancy, the risk for HKD diagnosis in children almost doubled,” the authors write. And the odds of the children being prescribed an ADHD medication rose by 50%.

The results held up even when factors like maternal mental health, inflammation, and infection during pregnancy were accounted for.

Acetaminophen can cross the placenta, making its way to the  fetus and its delicate developing nervous system. The drug is a known endocrine (hormone) disrupter, and has previously been linked to undescended testes in male infants. Since the maternal hormone environment plays a critical role in the development of the fetus, the authors say that it’s “possible that acetaminophen may interrupt brain development by interfering with maternal hormones or via neurotoxicity such as the induction of oxidative stress that can cause neuronal death.”

All this said, causation can’t be determined from the current study – there is only a correlation between a mother’s acetaminophen use and behavioral/attention problems in the child. So there could be another factor or multiple factors at play, which haven’t been teased apart yet. For this reason, the authors say that it’s too early to make any specific recommendations for pregnant women.

But, they add, if causation could be demonstrated, then “acetaminophen should no longer be considered a safe drug for use in pregnancy.”

The authors of an accompanying editorial also point out that the results “underline the importance of not taking a drug’s safety during pregnancy for granted.” More research, they urge, will certainly be needed to address the remaining questions.

In the meantime, if you’re concerned, it may be wise to cut down on acetaminophen if you’re pregnant – it certainly shouldn’t be used routinely or for long periods. But  talk with your doctor if you have questions about this, or any medications, you’re taking.

Follow me @alicewalton or find me on Facebook.

Source: Forbes

 

You Might Also Like

Updates


Sponsored Update

Update: 2

Tweets

 

Advertisement


More From the Web

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Customized gold iPhones given away as wedding favors
Customized gold iPhones given away as wedding favors
President of Nigeria had his daughter’s wedding and each guests received a gold iPhone as wedding favor
 
 
Leaked images show off OnePlus One, StyleSwap covers too
Leaked images show off OnePlus One, StyleSwap covers too
The handset has a minimalistic design approach which falls perfectly in sync with the typical Oppo style
 
 
Rufus Cuff seems too big to be a wristwatch wearable
Rufus Cuff seems too big to be a wearable
Once connected, it can be used for mobile data, making calls and sending texts
 
 
Audi&#039;s latest hybrid concept
Audi's latest hybrid concept
The prototype is going to be on display at the Beijing Motor Show
 
 
 

The Hottest Photos of Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013