(WOIO) - A recent study shows that children of women who used the pain reliever acetaminophen during pregnancy appear to be at higher risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) like behavioral problems and hyperkinetic disorders (HKDs, a severe form of ADHD).
This raises the concerns of many due to the fact that acetaminophen, aka Tylenol, is the most commonly used medication for pain and fever during pregnancy.
But some recent studies have suggested that acetaminophen has effects on sex and other hormones, which can in turn affect neurodevelopment and cause behavioral dysfunction.
The study was performed by author, Zeyan Liew, M.P.H., of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues.
The study was conducted from 1996-2002 and included 64,322 children and mothers in the Danish National Birth Cohort.
On questionnaires handed out by Danish registries, parents reported behavioral problems and HKD diagnoses and ADHD medication prescriptions.
Of those parents more than half of the mothers used acetaminophen while pregnant.
The use of acetaminophen during pregnancy appeared to be associated with a higher risk of HKD diagnosis, of using ADHD medications or of having ADHD-like behaviors at age seven years.
The risk increased when mothers used acetaminophen in more than one trimester during pregnancy.
The conductors of the study have concluded that maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for HKDs and ADHD-like behaviors in children. They add that because the exposure and outcomes are frequent, these results are of public health relevance and further investigations are needed.
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