Acetaminophen Use during Pregnancy Associated with ADHD-Like Behaviour in Children

Acetaminophen Use during Pregnancy Associated with ADHD-Like Behaviour in ChildrenTerming the study to be an eye-opener, researchers have associated acetaminophen use during pregnancy with an increased risk of hyperkinetic disorders and ADHD disorders-like behaviour in children.

Researchers from University of California in Los Angeles assessed data from 64,322 children and mothers as part of the Danish National Birth Cohort from 1996 to 2002. Interviews were also carried during pregnancy to assess acetaminophen use.

The study objective was to know whether prenatal exposure to the painkiller increases the risk of such problems in children or not. More than 50% of mothers said they have taken acetaminophen during pregnancy.

On the basis of response, researchers said that there was an increased risk of hospital diagnosis of HKD and its hazard ratio was 1.37. For ADHD, hazard ratio was 1.29 at the age of 7 years and the risk ratio was said to be 1.13 for children whose mothers have taken acetaminophen during pregnancy.

Those who have used acetaminophen for more than one trimester during pregnancy were at even higher risk. Dr. Christine Trautman with Physicians for Women in Madison said the pill in low or small doses is often considered to be safe. It would be too early for doctors to change the prescription, but there is no denying that the research is an eye opener.

"Because the exposure and outcome are frequent, these results are of public health relevance but further investigations are needed", said researchers. The study has been published in the Journal of American Medical Association of Pediatrics.