New Reason to Fear Acetaminophen: ADHD
New study finds use during pregnancy is linked to 'ADHD-like behaviors'
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2014 11:19 AM CST
Stock image   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The bad news about acetaminophen just keeps on coming: A new study finds that use of the drug during pregnancy is linked to "ADHD-like behavioral problems" in children, CNN reports. The Danish study looked at data from more than 64,000 children and found that those who had prenatal exposure to acetaminophen had a 13% higher risk of exhibiting ADHD-like behaviors, a 29% higher risk of being prescribed ADHD medication, and a 37% higher risk of receiving a diagnosis of hyperkinetic disorder, a severe form of ADHD, USA Today reports. The risk increased the later in pregnancy the drug was taken and the longer it was taken.

Women who used acetaminophen for 20 weeks or longer had a 50% higher chance of their children being prescribed ADHD medication. But the authors did not find a cause-and-effect relationship, and they note that "exhibiting ADHD-like behaviors" is not the same as actually having ADHD. Right now, doctors consider acetaminophen the "safest" pain reliever for pregnant women, NBC News reports; the study author says pregnant women "shouldn't worry at this point." What could account for the link? The authors think acetaminophen may interfere with key maternal hormones that impact fetal brain development. Another recent study also found that frequent acetaminophen use during pregnancy was linked with a 70% higher risk of behavioral problems in children.

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
autismepi
Mar 14, 2014 11:29 AM CDT
Yes, our children are much sicker than 30 years ago and it looks like switching from aspirin to acetaminophen has a lot to do with it. There are many studies showing a relationship between acetaminophen and asthma. This is the second cohort study finding an association of prenatal acetaminophen use and adverse neurodevelopment. Animal and ecological studies also support that acetaminophen is a neurotoxin affecting development. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23547988 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24361869 http:/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24316461 http:/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22512254 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21170329 http://www.ehjournal.net/content/pdf/1476-069X-12-41.pdf http://greatplainslaboratory.com/home/eng/Acetaminophen.asp
imrodger
Feb 26, 2014 7:53 AM CST
Removing one final pain reliever leaves us with sucking seaweed, gnawing on tree bark, and smoking weed. Colorado will swell (pun intended) with arthritic potheads. Headlines yet to come: "Rocky Mountain High replaced by High Weeds," "That's Not Smokey Mountains, but Hazy Ones," "Oops, We Were Wrong Marijauna Does Kill Brain Cells. Sizzle," "Acetaminophen Found to Be Miracle Cure."
No-Left-Turn
Feb 25, 2014 8:54 PM CST
ADHD, nut allergies, asthma, etc. Kids are definitely having more issues today than 50 years ago. Probably all of the culprits are things we didn't eat or take back then.