- Acetaminophen is the
most commonly used drug for relieving pain and fever.
study published in JAMA Pediatrics, reported data on prenatal exposure
of acetaminophen during 18 and 32 weeks of pregnancy.
exposure during pregnancy may result in increased risk of hyperactivity and
behavioral problems in children.
Use of Acetaminophen
during pregnancy may result in hyperactivity and childhood behavioral problems
in the offspring.
According to a research
study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics
, it was found that
acetaminophen exposure during the 18 and 32 weeks of pregnancy may be
associated with kids behavioral problems.
‘Prenatal exposure of Acetaminophen during 18 and 32 weeks of pregnancy may account for hyperactivity and behavioral problems in children.’
Acetaminophen - Most
Common Pain Reliever
is the most common drug which is
widely used as a pain reliever. It is used in the treatment of fever and is
available in a variety of dosage forms like tablet, capsule, oral solution,
rectal suppository, suspensions and injections. Acetaminophen is commonly used
as an active ingredient in most of the medicines for treating allergy, cough,
cold and sleeplessness. It is commonly available in the form of over-the-counter
drugs (OTC) as well as prescription medicines.
Although the drug is
being widely used for its analgesic and antipyretic properties. It is known to
cause side effects like abdominal pain, itching, skin rashes, nausea and
headache and may also result in severe liver damage on prolonged exposure.
Research Study on
Acetaminophen Exposure During Pregnancy
The study was based on
the data collected from 7796 mothers who enrolled for the Avon Longitudinal
Study of Parents and Children between 1991 and 1992. This data was analyzed by
a team of co-authors along with Evie Stergiakouli, Ph.D., of the University of
Bristol, United Kingdom who examined the link between the kids' behavioral
problem with prenatal, postnatal or acetaminophen use by their partners.
The results of the data
through questionnaires assessed acetaminophen use during the 18 and 32 weeks of
pregnancy and when the children were at the age of 5. Behavior related problems
were also assessed in 7 year old children through questionnaires.
Around 53% of mothers
used acetaminophen during the 18th
week of pregnancy and about 42%
of mothers reported acetaminophen use during the 32nd
pregnancy. The questionnaire report suggested that women who took acetaminophen
between 18 and 32 weeks of pregnancy were associated with a high risk of
conduct and hyperactivity symptoms in children
. And use of acetaminophen after 32 weeks of pregnancy
reported emotional symptoms and total difficulties in children. While postnatal
exposure and acetaminophen use by partners did not result in any behavioral
problems. The findings result that childhood behavioral problems due to
acetaminophen use may be through intrauterine mechanism which occurs when the
drug crosses the placenta through the uterus, Around 5% of the children
reported for behavioral problems.
Professor at Emory University Schools of Public Health & Medicine, said
that this would be the fourth major study on acetaminophen use during pregnancy
which is related to neuro-development in children.
However, the study was
not able to give details on dosage or duration of acetaminophen use during
pregnancy that would result in behavioral problems. The authors have also
cautioned on the harmful effects of acetaminophen on fetus against the risk of
not treating the mother for pain or fever. And study requires further research
and investigation to prove acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy.
Managing Pain during Pregnancy
headache are some of the minor problems during pregnancy which can be managed
by pain relief methods like doing a massage or using cold or warm packs. Avoid
unnecessary medications during pregnancy
and take only the prescribed dose of the drug to
avoid harmful effects on the fetus.
- Is acetaminophen use when pregnant associated with
kids' behavioral problems? - (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-08/tjnj-iau081116.php)
- Acetaminophen Information - (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/ucm165107.htm)