Study Adds to Concerns About Pain Reliever Use During Pregnancy

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Research has shown that long-term use of the pain reliever acetaminophen during pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk for neurodevelopmental problems like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and now a new study further confirms this link.

The comprehensive study, which was conducted by researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and involved 132,738 mother and child pairs, suggests acetaminophen use in women who are pregnant can affect development of the fetal nervous system. According to researchers, prolonged use of the pain reliever/fever reducer led to a 20 percent higher-than-average risk for autism and a 30 percent higher risk for ADHD during the study’s 3- to 11-year follow-up period.

The researchers caution that pain and fever during pregnancy can also have a detrimental effect on the developing fetus, and advise that acetaminophen is still considered safe for short-term use in women who are expecting.

Sourced from: American Journal of Epidemiology