It has been found that pregnant women who take pain medicine are liable to have children with behavioral problems.
Usage of the OTC analgesic drug, acetaminophen during pregnancy may lead to behavioral problems in the children who are given birth. The article regarding this phenomenon was published in the online journal JAMA Pediatrics.
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Previously, acetaminophen was considered a safe pain medication for pregnant females. It also served to bring down any fever symptoms. The researchers studied data for 7796 mothers between 1991 and 1992. Their children and partners were included in the analytic study.
The behavioral problems faced by children were found to be due to the prenatal and postnatal acetaminophen intake by their mothers. Also the acetaminophen usage by their partners was taken into consideration.
The questionnaires were given to the mothers at 18 to 32 weeks during pregnancy and when their kids were five years of age. Finally, when these children were seven years old, questions regarding their behavioral status were asked.
4415 mothers reported using acetaminophen at 18 months of pregnancy. 3381 women used this pain-relieving drug at 32 weeks of their pregnant status.
The total numbers of women were 6916 and their partners were 3454 in number who also used the harmful drug. At least 5% of the kids displayed behavioral issues.
Among the specific symptoms of bad behavior were conduct problems and hyperactivity where the children couldn’t stay still for a single second. Also emotional problems and total behavioral anomalies were common in the children.
However, acetaminophen usage by mothers and their partners was not associated in any way with adverse behavioral changes in them. The dosage and duration of intake of acetaminophen thus was only linked with bad effects in the subsequent children who were given birth.
Thus it is clear that children who have been exposed to acetaminophen, that was administered to their mothers during pregnancy, are more likely to show behavioral difficulties later on in life.
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This behaviorally adverse effect may follow an intrauterine path. Further studies are needed to corroborate this claim.