Taking Paracetamol During Pregnancy may Affect Child Behavior

by Iswarya on  September 16, 2019 at 2:06 PM Child Health News
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Taking paracetamol in mid-pregnancy may be linked to the behavior of the offspring between the ages of 6 months and 11 years, reports a new study. The findings of the study are published in the journal Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology.
Taking Paracetamol During Pregnancy may Affect Child Behavior
Taking Paracetamol During Pregnancy may Affect Child Behavior

Paracetamol is commonly used to relieve pain during pregnancy and is recommended as the treatment of choice by the NHS.

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Using questionnaire and school information from Bristol's Children of the 90s study, researchers examined 14,000 children. When they were seven months pregnant, 43 percent of their mothers said they had taken paracetamol 'sometimes' or more often during the previous three months. Researchers examined results of the children's memory, IQ and pre-school development tests, temperament and behavior measures.

They found an association between paracetamol intake and hyperactivity and attention problems as well as with other difficult behaviors with young children that were not accounted for by the reasons why the medication was taken or social factors. However, this was no longer the case by the time the children reached the end of primary school. Boys appeared to be more susceptible than girls to the possible behavioral effects of the drug.

The study was led by Professor Jean Golding OBE, who also founded the University of Bristol's Children of the 90s study. She commented: "Our findings add to a series of results concerning evidence of the possible adverse effects of taking paracetamol during pregnancy, such as issues with asthma or behavior in the offspring. It reinforces the advice that women should be cautious when taking medication during pregnancy and to seek medical advice where necessary.

"It is important that our findings are tested in other studies - we were not in a position to show a causal link, rather an association between two outcomes. It would also be useful now to assess whether older children and adults are free of difficult behavioral problems if their mother had taken paracetamol."

Source: Eurekalert

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