Paracetamol intake during pregnancy increases the risk of autism and ADHD

Taking painkillers can have serious consequences for the child
Medications during pregnancy are a sensitive issue because there are some active ingredients that can cause serious damage to the unborn child. Even a simple cold remedy can therefore contain substances that are not good for the child. So what should pregnant women do if, for example, they have a nagging headache? So far, acetaminophen has been considered comparatively harmless and well tolerated. However, Spanish researchers from the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) are now warning of the widely used pain reliever. If pregnant women take this more often, the child has an increased risk of autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Active ingredients can lead to malformations
Most women experience symptoms like headache or back pain from time to time during pregnancy. But while swallowing aspirin or ibuprofen was not a problem in the past, pregnant women need to be careful when taking medication. Because many active ingredients are passed on to the unborn child and can lead to serious damage to them. Especially in the first few months, it can have serious consequences if the development of the organs is disrupted by harmful drugs. In the worst case, it can even happen that the child is born with a malformation or intellectual disability.

More than 40 percent took pain relievers during pregnancy
So pregnant women are often faced with the difficult question: What remedy can I take if my head is buzzing or my back stabs? At least no paracetamol, according to the results of a Spanish study that was recently published in the trade journal "International Journal of Epidemiology". If a woman takes this more frequently during pregnancy, she risks autism and an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in her children, according to the scientists around Claudia Avella-Garcia in her report. According to the information, especially boys would be affected.

In the cohort study, the researchers examined 2,644 mothers at the beginning of their pregnancy and observed them until the children were five years old. According to this, over 40 percent of the mothers stated that they had taken acetaminophen during pregnancy. It was found that the children of these women had an increased risk of attention disorders, hyperactivity or impulsivity later than those of abstinent mothers. There was also a connection between taking the pain reliever during pregnancy and an increased number of signs of a so-called “autism spectrum disorder” in boys (ASA).

Boys are more likely to suffer from autistic disorders
“This is the first cohort study to show that paracetamol exposure of the child in the womb can increase the symptoms of ASA in male children. Our results also suggest that prenatal exposure can affect attention functions at the age of five, but affects boys and girls differently. Furthermore, our results suggest a link with hyperactivity and impulsivity that applies to both genders, ”the researchers said in their article. The correlation is apparently dependent on the frequency of taking the drug - but it is not possible to determine the exact effects of the doses, since the mothers had difficulty remembering the exact amounts. (No)

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Video: Autism Linked to Flu, Fever During Pregnancy: Study (October 2021).