HomeArticleStudy says Excessive use of acetaminophen during pregnancy can lead to ADHD but experts have different opinion
Study says Excessive use of acetaminophen during pregnancy can lead to ADHD but experts have different opinion
Updated On 31 Oct, 2017 Published On 31 Oct, 2017
they concluded that further study is required to conclude the negative effects of acetaminophen and it should not be banned from consumption. The data does not provide enoughfacts and statistics to support the theory.
Acetaminophen is one of the safest over-the-counter analgesic and fever relieving drugs prescribed by the doctors and physicians during pregnancy. Also, many studies have shown that it has almost no side effects for the growing baby and the mother.
However, there's not always a 100% safe medication for any disease and with that being said, decade-long research and analysis have proven that excessive use of acetaminophen during pregnancy can increase the incidence of ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in children.
The study published this Monday showed the twice the risk of ADHD if acetaminophen is used in long term. In contrast, two experts have stood against these findings stating that use of acetaminophen is not the sole cause of ADHD in children.
Study says Excessive use of Acetaminophen during Pregnancy can lead to ADHD but Experts have Different Opinion
Excessive use of any medicine can lead to detrimental effects but the association between Acetaminophen and ADHD has raised a controversy among the experts. Acetaminophen commonly called as paracetamol, which constitutes of active ingredient, Tylenol.
It is prescribed as a safe drug to be consumed by the pregnant women to counteract pain and fever and US Food and Drug Administration estimates that almost 65% of pregnant women use this drug in America.
Experts conducted extensive research to prove the theory but none of them gave the data that could prove that acetaminophen increases the risk of ADHD.
It only showed association to some extent and the method of studies like the measurement of the exact amount of acetaminophen by the participants or the level of biomarkers were also not considered.
Source: Web MD
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder noted by difficulty in paying attention, excessive activity, or impulsive behavior that is basically not common for a person's age.
Two experts, Elvind Ystrom, a senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Dr. Alison G. Cahill, a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee have refrained from the previous studies and state that there's no biological proof behind the cause-effect relationship between the disease and the drug.
Ystorm states that health care providers should provide pregnant women with the drug and "should not refrain from short-term acetaminophen use." However, he further explains that the long-term use of the drug( 29 days or more) must be done only under the proper consultation of physicians.
But the previous study where a total of 95,242 mothers, 75,217 fathers, and 112,973 children were analyzed showed that 2,246 children were diagnosed with ADHD between the years 1999 and 2009.
"We found that using acetaminophen for 29 days or more during pregnancy gave a 220% increase in risk for ADHD in the child, this was after taking medical conditions and risk for ADHD in the family into account."
And despite the findings, Ystorm concluded that further study is required. Not only this, Dr. G. Cahil also questioned the method of study and how the diagnosis of ADHD was assessed as the researchers calculated the number of ADHD diagnosed children by codes in their medical records but the codes always might not assess that the child has ADHD but other related disorder.
Source: Ask Dr Shah
Another expert to agree with this was Dr. Max Wiznitzer, co-chairman of the professional advisory board of Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
He said that the codes the researchers took as the base of the study don't confirm the diagnoses and the experiments made on rodents that showed the increased risk of ADHD in their offsprings also don't add much to the conclusion.
Wiznitzer states that he guarantees that "the rodents are not getting the type of dose like you would take if you're pregnant." And although it's good to use the animal models, we cannot assume that because it happens to the animal, it happens to humans.
Finally, they concluded that further study is required to conclude the negative effects of acetaminophen and it should not be banned from consumption. The data does not provide enough facts and statistics to support the theory.