Mother's acetaminophen use during pregnancy may increase risk of behavioral problems in kids

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Mother's Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy May Increase Risk Of Behavioral Problems In Kids

Women who take acetaminophen while pregnant could be risking behavioral problems in their kids years later, finds a new U.K. study.

According to the research, "Acetaminophen...is one of the most common pain-relieving medications and is considered generally safe for use during all stages of pregnancy, making it the first-choice pain and fever medication for pregnant women."

In order to understand the potential risks involved in using the drug, the team analyzed the data of nearly 7,800 mothers enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children during the early 1990s.

The researchers found that "maternal prenatal acetaminophen use at 18 weeks was associated with higher odds of the offspring having conduct problems as well as hyperactivity symptoms, while maternal acetaminophen use at 32 weeks was associated with higher odds of emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity symptoms as well as total difficulties."

They believe the reason could be related to an undefined "intrauterine mechanism."

However, some experts have expressed their doubts about the results.

One concern is that the team did not factor in the use of other medications or supplements.

Another is that the mothers were not asked about the frequency or dosage of their intake.

Given the uncertainty, one of the researchers, Evie Stergiakouli from the University of Bristol still recommends that, "pregnant women should still use acetaminophen as required because there is a risk of not treating fever or pain during pregnancy."

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