In an epidemiological study conducted in Europe, researchers found a link between symptoms of autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children to the use of paracetamol during pregnancy by the mothers.
Conducted by experts from Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), the study consisted of 70,000 participants from six countries of Europe. It says that the use of paracetamol during pregnancy can result in neurodevelopmental disorders including ADHD and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in their children. The study recently appeared in European Journal of Epidemiology.
The study concluded that when kids have prenatal exposure to paracetamol, they are 21% more likely to develop ASD and 21% more likely to develop ADHD. “These results replicate previous work and support providing clear information to pregnant women and their partners about potential long-term risks of acetaminophen use,” wrote the authors of the study.
The study further noted that 45-56% of pregnant women used paracetamol in developed countries as it is considered to be the safest analgesic. In their conclusion, the researchers said they didn’t believe in discontinuing the use of paracetamol for pregnant women but suggested exercising caution and only using it when extremely necessary.